Taking a stand to protect the planet

A news item by the Revd Dr Keith G Jones, Team Enabler at Shipley Baptist Church and Christian Aid Co-ordinator in Shipley

Shipley ChristiansCAMPAIGNERS from Shipley Baptist Church (part of the Shipley Christian Aid group) and St Margaret’s Church, Frizinghall, visited Barclay’s Bank and HSBC Bank in Shipley to urge them to stop using the public’s savings to support polluting fossil fuel companies.

Christian Aid has revealed the high street banks are still using savers’ money to support fossil fuel companies, even though governments, scientists and even the banks themselves are in agreement that we need to move away from coal, oil and gas to protect our planet.

The Shipley-based group presented messages from the community explaining why the banks need to move from fossil fuels to renewable energy as part of the organisation’s Big Shift Campaign.

Rhys North, of St Margaret’s, says: "We have made changes in our own lives to try to tackle climate change, so it’s nonsensical to us that banks with Shipley branches are still using our money to support companies who continue to destroy the planet. The banks says they support action to prevent further climate change, but uses our money to support fossil fuel companies. That must change."

The group presented a letter to each bank to be passed to the chief executive and showed off their piggy bank posters filled with messages of support for the bank to act.

The Revd Dr Keith Jones says: "Climate change is the biggest issue humanity faces. We need everyone, including the people managing our money to make the right decisions to put us on a safer path towards a better future."

Fossil fuels are increasingly a financial risk as well as fuelling climate change. As governments and markets around the world act to reduce carbon emissions, the value of fossil fuel companies could decrease rapidly. 

Christian Aid believes that with a shift in policies and investment decisions, the biggest high street banks could be providing the capital needed to invest in the energy systems we need for the future instead of damaging the planet.

Shipley Christian Aid group represents twelve churches in Shipley, Frizinghall, Windhill, Saltaire and Cottingley.

 Pictured are: Sheila and Rhys North, Katie Jones, Esther Derbyshire and the Revd Dr Keith Jones.