Protesters demand London banks stop funding fossil fuels

Young activists take part in the Youth Strike to Defund Climate Chaos protest against the funding of fossil fuels outside Standard Chartered Bank in London. Picture date: Friday October 29, 2021.

Protesters have taken to London’s streets to lobby against the funding of fossil fuels.

Activists chanted “Ensure our future, not pollution” as they made their way from Lloyd’s of London to Macquarie Capital.

They want the banks stop their support of fossil fuels and the building and maintenance of the Silvertown Tunnel under the Thames in east London.

The Day of Action is expected to be addressed by teenage activist Greta Thunberg outside Standard Chartered on Friday afternoon.

She is one of thousands of activists attending protests across 26 countries.

The COP27 climate conference - what you need to know

What is COP27? When and where will it be?

Each year, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meets at what is called the Conference of the Parties (abbreviated as COP) to discuss the world's progress on climate change and how to tackle it.

COP27 is the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties summit which will be held in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18.

Who is going?

Leaders of the 197 countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) - a treaty that came into force in 1994 - are invited to the summit.

These are some of the world leaders that will be attending COP27:

  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is attending the conference, after initially saying he wouldn't as he was too busy focusing on the economy within his first weeks in office.

  • US President Joe Biden and his experienced climate envoy, John Kerry, will appear at the talks.

  • France President Emmanuel Macron will also be among the heads of state from around the world staying in Egypt.

King Charles III will not be attending COP27, despite being a staunch advocate for the environment. The decision was made jointly by Buckingham Palace and former prime minister Liz Truss.

Elsewhere, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will not attend the talks just as they decided to do for COP26.

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What is it hoping to achieve?

1. Ensure full implementation of the Paris Agreement and putting negotiations into concrete actions - included within this is the target of limiting global warming to well below 2C.

2. Cementing progress on the critical workstreams of mitigation, adaptation, finance and loss and damage, while stepping up finance notably to tackle the impacts of climate change.

3. Enhancing the delivery of the principles of transparency and accountability throughout the UN Climate Change process.

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Others include Greenwich teacher Kevin Wright, who spoke about the Silvertown Tunnel, saying: “We cannot afford it environmentally or financially. There are no grounds that makes it good.

“It will draw large traffic into the most densely populated parts of the UK.

“All I see I self-interest in this tunnel, all I see is harm, but to some it’s big money and to (London mayor Sadiq) Khan it probably is his pension.”

Young activists take part in the Youth Strike to Defund Climate Chaos protest

As the activists made their way through London’s streets, they were escorted by City of London Police officers.

A band played Power To The People as the march made its way from Lime Street to Ropemaker Street.

Five women dressed as banshees and holding cymbals were outside Macquarie Capital, wailing and lying on the ground clutching white roses.

Around 70 campaigners were in at the morning’s protests, with numbers growing at each site.

The protests come days before world leaders meet in Glasgow on Monday for the Cop26 summit, where they will discuss how to tackle climate change.

In 2015, countries signed the Paris agreement to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5C and reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

The International Energy Agency says there can be no further exploration of oil and gas after this year.