February 14, 2016


Press release – For immediate release, 14/02/16

CONTACT: For photos & quotes – Ellen Gibson, ellen@350.org, 07981277248

boatssmall  wideshotsmall

LONDON, UK — Climate change campaigners today surrounded City Hall in orange ‘lifeboats’ to highlight the effects of climate change in the UK and the the investments of London’s public institutions in fossil fuel companies.

Activists from group Divest London filled boats adorned with ‘divest to stay afloat’ and ‘climate rescue’ and speakers from MADE and Switched On London, among others, talked about the links between flooding, climate impacts and fossil fuel investments. On Friday, the Thames Barrier was closed to protect London from high flood risk.

Ellen Gibson, divestment campaigner at 350.org, commented;

“It is widely accepted that climate change exacerbated the flooding that recently devastated much of the UK. Although this time London was lucky enough not to be hit, by no means are we safe here from similar events – evidence shows that London is already becoming increasingly vulnerable to flooding and other climate impacts.

We are here at City Hall today in solidarity with communities in the UK and globally already affected by climate change. We also want to highlight the contradiction between London’s own vulnerability, and the billions of pounds of investments flowing into fossil fuel companies from our capital’s public institutions.”

There are over 20 divestment campaigns across London, asking borough councils, universities and other institutions to pull their investments from fossil fuel companies. In the last few months, Haringey Council, LSE and UAL have all made partial divestment commitments. The London Assembly last year voted in favour of divesting the LPFA, however this decision was vetoed by Mayor, Boris Johnson.

It was also announced at City Hall today that mayoral candidates Sadiq Khan (Labour), Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dem) and Sian Berry (Green) officially support the Divest London campaign.  

Chelsea Edwards, member of Divest London, said;

“With the Mayoral elections coming up later this year, we want to see climate change and its impacts high up on the political agenda – that means candidates pledging to push for divestment across the capital, starting with the City Hall-controlled LPFA.

It’s time our politicians, university chancellors, museum directors, faith leaders and more put two and two together – we cannot address climate change while continuing to bankroll it; London’s institutions must break their ties with the fossil fuel industry and divest.”