Extinction Rebellion activists claimed Barclays “talks green, acts dirty” as scrubbers green-washed the bank’s branch on Lincoln High Street on Sunday – the same day the COP26 summit began.
The activists engaged with passers-by and tried to encourage them to boycott Barclays, whilst they green-washed the bank with mops and soapy water on October 31.
This comes after Barclays recently pledged to become a net-zero bank by 2050, but Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire claims the firm has already granted £3.75 billion in loans and bonds to fossil fuel companies.
Extinction Rebellion Lincolnshire also said the bank is linked with industrial meat companies heavily associated with the deforestation of the Amazon rainforest. On Monday, Barclays chief executive Jes Staley stepped down after an investigation into how he described his links with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
The activists wanted to highlight the clash between Barclays’ promise to “go green” and its actions. On the same day, the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) began in Glasgow, and will run until November 12.
Extinction Rebellion Activist Eddie Francis said: “Green washing won’t wash. Multi-national companies like Barclays hide behind promises so that they can carry on with their dirty tricks. We are calling them out.”
This comes after the International Energy Agency (IEA) published findings in May this year on how to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The paper makes it clear that all investment in, and expansions of, fossil fuel projects needs to stop.
Meanwhile, through a campaign called ‘Deep Water Rising’, local activists attended peaceful gatherings over the weekend at sites that are vulnerable to flooding, including at Lincoln’s Brayford Wharf North and in Horncastle.
People were encouraged to bring items that will make noise, such as drums, to “call the alarm to COP”.
Pete Richards, who attended the Horncastle protest, said: “Horncastle has flooded many times in the past, but sadly, what was a once in a lifetime event will happen more and more regularly.
“Lincolnshire coastal towns are particularly threatened by the potential of rising sea levels that will decimate these conurbations and will result in massive internal migration problems.
“Lincolnshire also provides much of the food we consume in the UK and the valuable farmland that will inevitably be lost will lead to major food shortages.”