Eric Worrall writes: The Guardian, a prominent green UK daily newspaper, reports that climate activists are implementing new strategies for forcing climate action – rather than attacking fossil fuel installations directly, necessitating uncomfortable long distance travel to often quite desolate locations, they’ve decided to say in easy reach of the nearest coffee bar, by staging protests in cities, targeting financial institutions which help finance oil and gas projects.
According to The Guardian;
“The rapid momentum behind the finance sector-focused NGO campaigns in Australia has taken casual observers and many within the finance industry by surprise.
With domestic political action on climate change in Australia stubbornly stuck in reverse gear, environment groups are looking to other avenues to influence climate action and they’ve chosen finance as the next target. Today, there are more than ten environment groups in Australia with finance sector focused campaigns.
As managers of the capital that fuels the economy, the scrutiny and expectations on investors are rapidly rising. Banks, pension funds, universities, religious groups, cities and councils are under intense pressure to demonstrate a response to risks posed by climate change.”
I doubt they will succeed – the finance types I used to work with mainly saw climate protests as colourful idiots who usually got the address wrong. The London riots, which had nothing to do with climate change, were a lot more intense – though even the risk of getting caught up in the riots didn’t deter finance people. I remember watching the smoke rise from London, as parts of the city burned, from the safety of a bank office building. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_England_riots
But if the protestors do succeed, will oil and coal companies roll over and go bust? Or will they offer high rates of high confidence return, to individual investors willing to step in and fill any funding shortfall?