Extinction Rebellion Organise Football Matches to Highlight Relationship Between Our National Sport and the Climate Crisis.
Location: Central London. Time: 13:00 Piccadilly Circus, 14:00 Dept for Culture Media and Sports, 15:00 Location TBC
Commencing with a 1pm kick-off this Saturday, football fans and environmental activists host ‘pop-up’ football matches on the streets of London to raise awareness of the relationship between football and the climate crisis. This action is aimed at Barclays who invest more money into fossil fuel projects than any other European bank, whilst remaining the Official Banking Partner of the Premier League.
The two teams involved in these games are the fossil-fuel sponsored ‘Sharklays’ squad and Extinction Rebellion FC. However, these matches come with a twist: the referee’s a banker and the games are rigged, illustrating how corporate greed and finance are a corrupting influence not only in football but more significantly, in climate policy.
XR Football co-founder Elliot Patrick, 25, said “this landmark action is the first in the UK to draw attention to the relationship between our national sport and what scientists regard as the greatest threat humanity will ever face”. He continued “being part of the football community and caring about these bigger issues are not mutually exclusive. Marcus Rashford has shown that there is space for these important conversations in the game.”
One quarter (twenty-three) of English football league stadiums are predicted to be temporarily or permanently unplayable by 2050 due to sea level rise and extreme weather events according to mainstream climate warming projections. Livelihoods and communities in close proximity to these clubs will also be affected. Grassroots football also faces significantly greater precarity than the professional game.
This family-friendly action is part of an on-going XR campaign against Barclays, who have been the largest European funder of fossil fuels projects to the tune of more than $150bn between 2015-2019. How we deal with the climate and ecological crisis will define the future of not only the human race, but life on earth. Barclays’ current business model is actively investing in the destruction of our shared life support system. There is time to change and Barclays must act now.
People on the Ground
Spokespeople: Elliot Patrick +447557739135
Press: Ali Rowe +447901916489
Social Media: @xrfootballuk
Notes to Editors
Key Football Climate Resources:
- ‘Playing Against the Clock’. Global Sport, the Climate Emergency and the Case for Rapid Change. https://www.rapidtransition.org/resources/playing-against-the-clock/
- Will your football club be underwater by 2050? Video by Tifo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAusanxXkg
- Sharklays website: https://sharklays.co.uk
Barclays Fossil Fuel Investment Resources:
- Source 1: Greenpeace. https://www.greenpeace.org.uk/news/barclays-banks-climate-change-fossil-fuels/
- Source 2: Client Earth. https://www.clientearth.org/responding-to-investor-pressure-barclays-presents-new-climate-policy/
- Source 3: The Independent. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/comment/environmental-damage-deforestation-banks-hsbc-barclays-santander-a9167916.html
ABOUT EXTINCTION REBELLION
Time has almost entirely run out to address the ecological crisis which is upon us, including the 6th mass species extinction, global pollution, and increasingly rapid climate change. If urgent and radical action isn’t taken, we’re heading towards 4˚C warming, and the societal collapse and mass loss of life that that implies. The younger generation, racially marginalised communities and the Global South are on the front-line. No-one will escape the devastating impacts.
Extinction Rebellion believes it is a citizen’s duty to rebel, using peaceful civil disobedience, when faced with criminal inactivity by their Government.
Extinction Rebellion’s key demands are:
- Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
- Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
- Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.
- In the UK, come to one of our events, join the Rebellion Network and let us know how you can help out.
- Start a group where you are: in the UK or around the world.
- Find your local group.
- Check out the International XR website, with links to the French, German, Italian and UK websites.
- And while your time and energy are of most importance, if you are financially able to donate money, see our crowdfunder.
About Rising Up!
Extinction Rebellion emerged from the Rising Up! network, which promotes a fundamental change of our political and economic system to one which maximises well-being and minimises harm. Change needs to be nurtured in a culture of reverence, gratitude and inclusion while the tools of civil disobedience and direct action are used to express our collective power.
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