Extinction Rebellion hold 'climate chaos' protest

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30.

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30. - Credit: Extinction Rebellion

Members of an Ely Extinction Rebellion group gathered to hold an afternoon protest in the city centre in their bid to highlight the role of British finance institutions in funding the climate crisis. 

Under the banner of #DefundClimateChaos, Ely XR Rebels gathered outside Barclays bank on Saturday, October 30 in a national weekend of actions bearing signs that aim to tackle climate change and fossil fuel finance. 

The action comes as world leaders gathered in Glasgow for the COP26 climate change conference. 

Some of the messages read: “Clean up your act, end fossil fuel finance” and “Wake up and smell the carbon Barclays”. 

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30.

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30. - Credit: Extinction Rebellion

Lee, a Littleport resident who attended the protest, said: “I’m scared of how climate change will risk our homes and food supply. 

“We really should be leaving fossil fuels in the ground instead of spending billions to extract more for them. 

“Can’t we ask our banks to invest in something less harmful?”. 

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According to the group, in 2020 Barclays was one of Europe’s single biggest investors in fossil fuels, providing £19.4bn in finance for new oil, gas and coal projects including dirty tar sands and fracking. 

They say this is in direct contradiction to their stated aim of achieving net zero by 2050. 

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30.

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30. - Credit: Credit: Extinction Rebellion

A spokesperson said: “We need to see action this decade. 

“On our current trajectory, we are set for warming of 3-4 degrees by the end of the century so it’s vital we bend that warming curve downwards. 

“Our region is particularly vulnerable to flooding from extreme weather and sea level rise. 

“One passer by commented ‘by the middle of the century Peterborough could be a coastal town!’”. 

Ely XR are urging people to take the actions to pressure banks to divest from fossil fuels. 

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30.

Members of Ely XR gathered outside Barclays bank in the city centre on Saturday, October 30. - Credit: Extinction Rebellion

The spokesperson added: “Consider switching to a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels and tell your bank why you are leaving them.

“There was a lot of positive engagement from the public during the afternoon and one person actually said they were going to cancel their account with Barclays."

A COP26 Global Day of Action will be taking place with a number of local organisations and groups on Saturday, November 6. 

More information can be found on the website. 

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