In November we held a UK Divest day of action, where hundreds of people took to the streets to call on our local councils to divest from fossil fuels and instead invest in climate justice and a safer future for us all. People took part by organising and attending rallies, standing out in the cold with a placard, emailing local councillors, phoning up council offices and sending messages on Twitter using our hashtag #StopFundingFossilFuels.
In Glasgow, host city of COP26, campaigners took part in a 70s-themed “discobedience”, to mark the decade that fossil fuel companies knew about the climate crisis. Check out this video from Divest Strathclyde and Friends of the Earth Scotland to see the disco in action! They also held a vigil for people affected by fossil fuels.
In Bradford, a coalition of community groups joined together to call on the council to stop funding fossil fuels and invest in climate justice. (Credit: Neil Terry)
In Matlock, council staff were “spooked” by a 10ft oil monster and from finding out that their pensions are being invested in fossil fuels. The action was covered by the Derbyshire Telegraph and Divest Derbyshire campaigner, Lisa, spoke on BBC Radio Sheffield about the campaign. (Credit: Maddy Winters/Against the Grain)
In Winchester, protestors from Dirty Money Hampshire, Unison and other local groups investigated a climate crime scene at Hampshire County Council.
Divest East Sussex came together outside of the County Council and rang their handbells to “sound a death knell” to fossil fuels! (Credit: Emily Mott 2021)
Activists in Chichester staged a “die-in” outside of West Sussex County Council to call for the Fund to end its £129m investment in fossil fuels. (Credit: Emily Mott 2021)
In Melrose, Scottish Borders, campaigners gathered calling for the Scottish Borders council to end its investments in fossil fuels.
Activists in Nottingham dropped a banner at a meeting of Nottinghamshire County Council’s pension committee, calling on the Fund to “Keep 1.5 Alive” — highlighting the Council’s planning for a catastrophic 2°C warming.
In Staffordshire, a public rally was held outside the Council offices calling for climate actions and fossil fuel divestment.
In Edinburgh campaign group Divest Lothian took a blockbuster message to the City Chambers saying it was time for the City to divest. (Credit: Colin Hattersley)
Pyjama-clad protesters in Manchester braved the cold to tell Mayor Andy Burnham to “wake up” to the urgency of the climate crisis and work with Manchester’s councils to bring about divestment of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund — which has the most fossil fuel investments of all local government pension funds in the UK. Read more about the protest and hear what organisers Maggie, Joan and Sam had to say about it in Manchester World. (Credit: Brian Stark)
Also in Glasgow, ‘Toxic Tours’ of the city were held to show people how COP26 and polluters were connected to fossil fuels, with stops at Barclays and the Strathclyde Pension Fund. The tours were organised by Glasgow Calls Out Polluters and can be explored online here.
During the period of COP26 taking place in the UK, activists and organisations drew attention to the fossil fuels investments of major banks, insurers and investors. A global day of action to ‘ Defund Climate Chaos‘ took aim at major UK investors including the Bank of England, Standard Chartered, JP Morgan, HSBC and Barclays. Actions were organised by a number of groups including Tipping Point, 350, Extinction Rebellion and Market Forces.
The vast majority of UK council pensions, banks and investors are still banking on fossil fuels — but it doesn’t have to be like this. By coming together, groups in London, Cardiff and Oxfordshire have all won huge commitments from their councils to end investments in fossil fuels and re-invest in climate solutions.
If you’ve been inspired, check out our map to
see if there’s a local group near you. If there isn’t, get in touch and we’ll help you start a campaign in your area!