Switch from fossil fuels! Divest your bank and energy supplier
Defund the Dakota Access Pipeline
If you've been following the news from North Dakota, you will know that the water protectors at Standing Rock have been suffering militarised police violence as they seek to protect indigenous land and water from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
What you may not know is that three UK banks: HSBC, Barclays and RBS, are among the banks which have invested in the company building the pipeline. Anyone can contact these banks to tell them to pull their money out of this shameful project, but the greatest impact will be if customers divest their own bank accounts.
UK banks HSBC, Barclays and Aviva have also invested in Kinder Morgan, which has just been granted permission by the Canadian government to build a massive tar sands pipeline - a disaster for the climate and potentially 'Canada's Standing Rock' because of strong opposition from indigenous peoples.
Find out more about these banks below, and check out the alternatives...
1. Move your money out of fossil fuels
Once we put money in our bank accounts, we tend to think that it just sits there until we spend it. But in fact, those hard-earned £ can be invested anywhere in the world, and not necessarily in ways we would approve of. From UK fracking sites to coal mines in Colombia, banks pursue profit at the expense of the climate.
Assets in coal, oil and gas extraction, 2012
(research by Move Your Money with recent updates relating to DAPL and Kinder Morgan):
HSBC - £17 billion
Shareholder of and lender of £63 million to fracking company Dart Energy. Invested $8 billion in coal between 2005 and 2014, including human-rights abusing coal corporations in Colombia. HSBC holds almost £93.7m worth of shares in Kinder Morgan, which owns the recently approved Trans Mountain tar sands pipeline.
Barclays - £15.6 billion
Barclays own 97% of Third Energy, planning to frack North Yorkshire. Campaigners have recently put these investments in the spotlight. Like HSBC, Barclays own shares (£38m) in tar sands pipeline builders Kinder Morgan, and is linked to the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline.
RBS/Natwest - £15.5 billion
Campaigners cautiously welcomed a recently announced reduction in fossil fuel investments. from what has been know as the 'Oil Bank of Scotland', one of the biggest global investors in coal and even tar sands.
Lloyds - £14.5 billion
A major nominee shareholder in BG Group and Centrica.
Santander - at least £3.5 billion
Energy policy not public.
Check out some more ethical banking alternatives on the Move Your Money website.
And tell your bank (or ex-bank) what you think of their climate-wrecking investments. Even if you are not a customer of a particular bank, you can still help put pressure on, for example through the email actions below or on their Facebook page.
2. Switch energy provider and fund renewables, not fossil fuels
Would you like the money you pay each month for your energy bill to help fund new renewables in the UK rather than burning fossil fuels? Luckily it's easy to switch. There are a few options nowadays:
Good Energy (use this link and if you sign up, the Campaign against Climate Change will get £30!) 100% green, and supporting over 52,000 independent generators across Britain.
Ecotricity 100% renewable electricity and 'green gas'
Bulb New kids on the block, they say their 100% renewable electricity is the cheapest.
LoCO2 Another small company, focusing on hydropower, offering 100% renewable electricity and 'green gas'
3. Campaign for divestment by pensions and other fund-holders
Done all that? Great. Unfortunately if you have a pension, that is probably still invested in fossil fuels. Achieving divestment there is a more complex process, but one worth campaigning for - this article in the Guardian is a good place to get you started.
And if you want to go further, find local campaigns at gofossilfree.org