Divest yourself on Global Divestment Day

January 21, 2015


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Climate change is one of the biggest issues of our time, and it presents one of the most difficult challenges for humanity to overcome. Globally rising temperatures are “unequivocally” caused by human activity, yet energy consumption is an ongoing need for a global population that continues to rise.

As a result, the burning of fossil fuels continues almost unabated, even though renewable energy continues to make progress in terms of efficiency, cost, and electricity production. Efforts to reduce demand are certainly warranted, but the supply of dangerous fossil fuels must also be reduced if we are to have any chance of avoiding the catastrophic effects of runaway climate chaos.

It’s often at this point that people are excluded from the conversation. Supply of fossil fuels is said to be a matter for producers, markets and governments, not the public – even though these forces have proven woefully inept at curbing emissions or transitioning to a sustainable economy. With so much vested financial interest for the companies producing fossil fuels, and with even the politicians entangled in fossil fuel finance to a startling degree, this state of affairs is more a disappointment than a surprise.

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But this is where you come in.

Ordinary people like you and me no longer have to wait and hope for a paradigm shift from above, when we can come together and force change to happen ourselves. Why wait for others to tinker on the periphery and watch the ice caps melt, when we can strike with one voice at the heart of the filthy fossil-fuel industry?

The Divestment movement gives us a fantastic opportunity to do just that, to push for an end to fossil fuel financing. Because without money in the till, the polluters can’t drill. It’s that simple. And divestment has been proven to be an effective strategy, too. Research from Oxford University shows that “In every case reviewed, divestment campaigns were successful in lobbying for restrictive legislation.”



Over 400,000 people marching in New York, as part of the global Peoples' Climate Mobilisation

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To help you divest yourself, Move Your Money has produced a series of guides that will assist you on every step of the journey.

First, sign up to our Divest! campaign, and put your bank on notice that you’ll be leaving them on Global Divestment Day for their role in driving climate change.

Then, use our handy Where to Move Your Money on GDD guide to choose your new Good Money home, which gives you an overview of where to bank for a fossil-free future (or read our more in-depth blog article on the topic here).

Next, our How to Move Your Money guide takes you step-by-step through the process, showing you just how easy it is to move, and what you need to do.

But don’t just leave quietly. After all, transferring to a new provider is only half of the challenge. If we want all banks, building societies and other providers to act in our interests, then we need to make a noise about what we want and why we want it.

First, tell the world and let us know that you’ve moved your money, by sending us a picture of you cutting up your old card on Facebook and Twitter.

Then let your bank know why you’ve decided to leave, and pressure them to change. Download our template letter here, then email it to your old bank and CC info@moveyourmoney.org.uk so we can help fight your cause.

Increasing the pressure further still, a number of bank Divestment Parties have sprung up around the country, where people will be protesting big bank investment in climate change, and celebrating the successes of the divestment movement. There’s parties planned in Bristol, Nottingham, Norwich and London – so click attending on your nearest event, and bring your mates along too.

And if these locations are too far away for you, why not set up a bank action yourself? We’ve got all the resources you need, and will support you every step of the way. Just check out this guide to setting up a bank action, and get in touch with fionn@moveyourmoney.org.uk to flesh out your plans.

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If we stand together with one voice, we can end fossil fuel funding from Britain’s biggest banks. Remember, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ― Margaret Mead


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