May 5, 2017

Global demonstrations challenging investors launches from Lancashire fracking site

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5th, 2017

Photos available

CONTACT:  Nick Danby, 07887606406

Global demonstrations challenging investors launches from Lancashire fracking site

Local communities impacted by fracking in Lancashire mark the start of a global wave of protests calling on investors to drop their investments in oil, coal and gas companies.

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LANCASHIRE — Local community members and protectors met outside the gate of the Preston New Road fracking site in Lancashire, run by controversial fracking company Cuadrilla, with a banner reading ‘Fracking Destroys Communities, Divest from Fossil Fuels’.

This action marks the start of a wave of actions across 42 countries on six continents as part of the Global Divestment Mobilisation, calling on institutions to end their investments in fossil fuel companies responsible for blocking action on climate change.

From 5th – 13th May, hundreds of actions will take place around the world, including over 40 in the UK calling on local government, faith, health, cultural institutions, politicians and banks to show moral leadership and end their support for the fossil fuel industry.

Nick Danby, local resident says:

“Living in Lancashire, we see first-hand how fracking affects our community, and we’re worried about the impacts of noise, air and water pollution on our farming, tourism and health.

“None of this is necessary as Lancashire has abundant renewable energy options that could provide valuable jobs to the area. It is very disappointing to see trusted institutions like universities and local councils keep on investing in companies causing harm to our community, and others across the world.

“Already climate change caused by activities like fracking is destroying people’s lives and livelihoods around the world – people who did the least to cause this problem but are paying the price. We’re standing up for them too.”

The Preston New Road site is intended to be the first live fracking site in the UK, since the government overruled opposition by the Lancashire County Council in October 2016. It has been the site of regular protest, including two blockades in the past week and work is rumoured to be significantly delayed.

This morning it was announced that over a quarter of Quaker meetings in Britain have committed to divest from fossil fuels. This announcement comes ahead of a ‘meeting for worship for witness’ on Saturday 6th May to protest against fracking, both locally and around the world at Pendle Hill in Lancashire. Pendle Hill was a significant place for George Fox, founder of the Quaker Church, and is in an area licensed for fracking.

Simultaneously, #ToxicBankers protests organised by civil disobedience network Rising Up! targeting Barclays bank over their investment in fracking company Third Energy have taken place at bank branches in Bristol and Huddersfield, with more expected.


Fossil Fuel Divestment

The divestment movement saw its beginnings in North America, Europe and Australia and has since become the fastest growing divestment movement in history.  

Global commitments to divest have already reached 710 institutions across 76 countries, representing well over US$5.5 trillion in assets under management.

As climate denialists take office and commit to regress on climate action in the face of increased climate impacts worldwide, divestment provides a tangible way for individuals and institutions to show leadership on tackling climate change.

The Global Divestment Mobilisation marks a new turning point for the global fossil fuel divestment movement, which is now spreading in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

In the UK, over 40 events will be taking place as part of the Global Divestment Mobilisation calling on local government, faith, health, cultural institutions, politicians and banks to divest from fossil fuels.

CONTACT:

Danni Paffard, UK Divestment Campaigner 350.org, [email protected] 07979817888

PHOTO AND VIDEO (to be updated throughout the duration of GDM):

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

  • You will find additional information including answers to frequently asked questions and media contacts for each of the actions in the GDM media pack.
  • Detailed overview of divestment commitments to date can be found here.
  • The UK recently celebrated reaching over 100 divestment commitments across a range of sectors.  
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