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Christian Aid
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New Christian campaign launched targeting bank fossil fuel investments

by Tola Mbakwe

Christian Aid has taken a stand after a new ComRes poll found that 80 per cent of public agree it is morally wrong for banks to profit from investments that pollute the environment, while 77 per cent believe banks should be stopped from doing so.

Suzanne Ismail Christian Aid's Senior Policy Advisor told Premier that it's an urgent issue.

She said: "We need to act on climate change now. There's really clear evidence to hear it's really hurting the world's poorest people.

"Fossil fuels are the biggest contributions, particularly through the energy sector."

Former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, who is also chair of Christian Aid, said: "This year we have seen extreme weather displacing millions of people in South Asia and bringing death and destruction in the Caribbean and the United States.

"These communities count the cost in lives lost.  But British investors, including banks, continue to count profits from just those fossil fuel investments that contribute to climate chaos."

In light of the new poll numbers, Christian Aid has launched its "Big Shift" campaign.

The charity has contacted more than 25,000 CEOs of the big four high street banks asking them to move their investments out of fossil fuels.

It has also encouraged bank customers to email their banks and do the same.

Last week Barclays announced profit for the year to September of £3.4billion. Lloyds announced profit for the same period of £4.5 billion, while RBS announced a profit of £1.3 billion for the same period. HSBC reported profits for the year to date of £11.3 billion.

Ismail told Premier that banks haven't proven to be trustworthy on their fossil fuel investments.

She said: "The difference in what the banks are saying and implying about investing in a sustainable future, it doesn't really quite measure up in the action that they are taking."

Christian Aid created a spoof video to demonstrate their actions.

According to the International Energy Agency private banks have a key role to play in reversing the needed investment gap and making the shift to renewables.

It concluded its 2017 World Energy Investment report by saying:  "Investment in new low-carbon generation needs to increase just to keep pace with growth in electricity demand growth, and there is considerable scope for more clean energy innovation spending by governments and, in particular, the private sector."

Listen to Suzanne Ismail speaking with Premier's Tola Mbakwe here:

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