BREAKING: ‘End Fossil Fuels Now!’ Extinction Rebellion disrupt Barclays and Standard Chartered AGMs
May 04, 2022 by Extinction Rebellion
At 11 AM on Wednesday May 4th, Members of Extinction Rebellion, and sister movement Money Rebellion, disrupted the annual general meetings of Barclays and Standard Chartered, demanding both banks stop financing fossil fuels. A total of around 60 people interrupted speeches at both meetings, with some wearing masks of Standard Chartered’s Chairman, José Viñals, and the bank’s CEO, Bill Winters, while at the Barclays AGM protestors set off personal alarms.
Barclays is the UK’s largest investor in fossil fuels, having put over $19.6 Billion into the industry in 2021 alone, while Standard Chartered financed over $6 Billion in the same year, ranking them the third biggest UK bank investing in fossil fuels behind Barclays and HSBC. 
The action comes following a stark warning from the UN Secretary General earlier this month that investment in new fossil fuels is ‘moral and economic madness’.  The recent IPCC report on climate change mitigation found that financial flows for fossil fuels are still greater than those for climate adaptation and mitigation and that meeting national climate targets would leave large amounts of fossil fuels unburned – meaning up to $4 trillion in stranded assets in the US alone. 
Outside the Standard Chartered AGM, protestors displayed a banner reading “Standard Chartered is Here For Fossil Fuels” and read out letters addressed to Chairman José Viñals from frontline communities affected by Standard Chartered funded projects.
Student and member of Money Rebellion, Aidan Knox, 22, who took part in the action at the Standard Chartered AGM, said: “We are disrupting the AGMs because we are in a climate crisis, but Barclays & Standard Chartered are more interested in their profits than a habitable planet.
“The UN Secretary General said: ‘We’re at code red for humanity’ and the International Energy Agency has called for no more investments in fossil fuel expansion if there’s any chance to meet the Paris Agreement, yet Barclays has ploughed $4 billion, and Standard Chartered $3 billion, into companies expanding oil and gas in 2021 alone. From a pipeline in Mozambique to coal mines in Indonesia, right now, real people are suffering from these investments in fossil fuel projects.
“We are scared for the future and we have no other option but to pressure these UK banks to change.”
Mitzy Jonelle Tan, a Fridays for Future Philippines activist, wrote an open letter to Standard Chartered CEO Bill Withers about the coal plants in the Philippines financed by them:
“San Miguel Corporation, which you finance through its parent company, has been evicting people from their homes, stealing land from farmers, and causing small fisherfolk to lose their livelihood. The companies you finance bring down ashfall on everyone, covering homes with a soot that also smothers their cries of anger, and send armed men to destroy the communities of those who have been fighting back.¨ 
Bill Winters is yet to respond.
Barclays and Standard Chartered AGMs are the latest to see disruption from protestors demanding an end to fossil fuel investments. HSBC’s meeting was interrupted last week with protestors singing a a revised version of the Abba hit Money, Money, Money during the chairman’s speech. 
“Banks can change the world but, right now, profit from the world’s destruction. Something’s gotta change. Are you going to change it or do we have to make you?” Said financial technology commentator Chris Skinner. 
Standard Chartered is also expected to face a shareholder revolt on their management remuneration policy and has faced shareholder revolts over executive pay at a number of previous AGMs. 
For footage and images of the action:
Notes to editors
 Banking on Climate Chaos: Fossil fuel report, 2022: https://www.ran.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/BOCC_2022_vSPREAD-1.pdf
 Secretary-General Warns of Climate Emergency, Calling Intergovernmental Panel’s Report ‘a File of Shame’, While Saying Leaders ‘Are Lying’, Fuelling Flames: https://www.un.org/press/en/2022/sgsm21228.doc.htm
 IPCC Sixth Assesment Report – Mitigation of climate change: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/wg3/
Climate finance groups call on financial institutions to heed IPCC report urging world to stop using fossil fuels: https://www.ran.org/press-releases/climate-finance-groups-call-on-financial-institutions-to-heed-ipcc-report-urging-world-to-stop-using-fossil-fuels/
 Standard Chartered, stop funding our destruction! https://www.bulatlat.com/2021/02/08/standard-chartered-stop-funding-our-destruction/
 ‘End Fossil Fuels Now!’ Extinction Rebellion disrupts HSBC AGM: https://extinctionrebellion.uk/2022/04/29/breaking-end-fossil-fuels-now-extinction-rebellion-disrupt-hsbc-agm/
 The Finanser: https://thefinanser.com/
 Vote down executive pay at Barclays and Standard Chartered, investors told: https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/apr/15/vote-down-executive-pay-at-barclays-and-standard-chartered-investors-told
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.