'Stop funding climate change', say King's Lynn activists
Climate change activists came together at a King's Lynn bank this week to help prevent power plants being financed.
The activists spoke to the Lynn branch manager of HSBC and presented a petition at the Vancouver Quarter bank on Tuesday.
Such actions are part of a Christian Aid national campaign during Lent, asking the four largest UK banks to stop financing coal-fired power stations on a global scale.
The charity claims HSBC uses an exception in it’s energy investment policy that allows it to continue financing coal power plants in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Daphne Sampson, of Christian Aid, said: “Most of us use banks and would like to think that our money could be used to build a cleaner, safer world.
"Instead, a lot of our money is being used to finance new fossil fuel power plants, harming people around the world and putting all of our futures at risk”.
Lucy Gawlinski of King's Lynn Quakers joined the activists on Tuesday morning.
She said: "We are asking HSBC to remove this exception, and also stop financing any company which makes more than 30% of their money from coal mining or coal power.
"We would like to see a clear plan for phasing out the financing of fossil fuels, and increase the finance in renewable energy. We believe this is a realistic target for the bank, and also no less than most customers would expect”.
A spokesperson for HSBC said: “HSBC is committed to helping customers make the transition to a low-carbon economy in a responsible and sustainable way.
"HSBC has stopped financing new coal-fired power in all countries around the world apart from Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam.
"A targeted and time-limited exception applies to these countries until 2023 in order to appropriately balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low-carbon economy, but only if independent analysis confirms that there is no reasonable alternative to coal and any new plant complies with the highest efficiency standards.
“Since the release of the new energy policy in April 2018 until the end of 2018, HSBC financed no new coal-fired power plants”.