The 'Carbon Bubbles champagne bar' tour continued this morning as we brought the taste of destruction back to the city once again. This time is was outside HSBC’s AGM at the Barbican Centre. We served up the finest quality oil from the Canadian Tar Sands, financed by HSBC, to passing shareholders so that they could sample the destruction that their shares cause. Many shareholders didn’t bat an eye lid at the reality that their shares were contributing to bankrolling climate change. Additionally causing the displacement of local communities in the global south to make way for fossil fuel extraction. One older gentleman literally guzzled down the oil we were offering shareholders in champagne glasses (in reality molasses disguised as oil). Clearly displaying that those involved in the fossil fuel web of power do actually love the taste of oil, I never knew. We also had samples of coal from the Cerrejón mine in Colombia as a visual display of what shareholder money is invested in.
Between 2010 and 2012 the top five UK banks raised £170 billion in bonds and shares for fossil fuel companies. HSBC outdid them all raising £74.64 billion for fossil fuel firms during this two year period. At present fossil fuel reserves on the London Stock Exchange are over 200 times the UK’s yearly carbon emissions. If we were to burn just a fifth of these reserves it would push the world over the brink into catastrophic irreversible climate change. Now if that isn’t bankrolling climate change, I don’t know what is. We want mandatory carbon reporting so that banks, like HSBC, have to admit what they emit.