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Cardiff South Wales

Extinction Rebellion Cymru activists hold protest in Cardiff city centre

SEVERAL Extinction Rebellion protesters have chained themselves together inside a Barclays bank in Cardiff City Centre. 

The activists claim the action is to bring attention to the “impunity with which Barclays continues to fund and profit from new fossil fuels”.

Protesters outside of the branch are holding up a banner which reads: “This is an intervention. Barclays stop funding fossil fuels”.

Inside the bank, several more protesters are chained together and are holding up a variety of signs, one of which says: “Barclays uses your money to fund the fossil fuel industry”.

South Wales Police have confirmed that no arrests have been made as a result of the protest. 

One of the protesters, David, 36, said: “Barclays is Europe’s biggest fossil fuel funder. We are talking £166bn that they have spent in the last five years, keeping us on that addiction to fossil fuels.”

Over 100 branches across the country have also been targeted. In Belfast, two activists have been arrested after Extinction Rebellion protesters sprayed red paint on a building in the city centre. 

The protest is part of a day of action organised by Extinction Rebellion Cymru. They say that actions and outreach will continue throughout the day. 

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook, said: “Today hundreds of people staged an intervention on Barclays, sending a message to the high street bank that with protests taking place at over 100 of their branches they are rapidly losing the social licence to do business in towns and cities of the UK.

“It’s high time that Barclays recognised the destructive role they are playing as Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuels and changed course.”

“We want Barclays to stop funding nature destroying projects and more than that we want them to show leadership. We ask them to publicly denounce an economic system that is geared towards the destruction of the planet, we want them to admit in public what bankers tell us in private – that they aren’t changing fast enough because the current system incentivises harmful behaviour.”

Barclays bank released a statement saying: “We are determined to play our part in addressing the urgent and complex challenge of climate change. In March 2020 we were one of the first banks to set an ambition to become net zero by 2050, across all of our direct and indirect emissions, and we committed to align all of our financing activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement. 

“We have a three-part strategy to turn that ambition into action: achieving net zero operations, reducing our financed emissions, and financing the transition. In practice, this means we have set 2030 targets to reduce our financed emissions in four of the highest emitting sectors in our financing portfolio, with additional 2025 targets for the two highest-emitting sectors – energy and power. 

“We have also provided over £80bn of green financing and we are investing our own capital – £175m – into innovative, green start-ups.”