Extinction Rebellion response to Bank of England announcement on emergency funding

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Stay alert – the bailouts are coming.

The Bank of England’s announcement yesterday came quietly and to many unnoticed. Airlines, chemical companies, fast fashion and car manufacturers are among the largest recipients to be approved emergency funding so far, the likes of which have – until yesterday – been taking place away from public view.[1][2] 

By doubling down on carbon intensive industry as the cornerstones of our economy, the Bank of England and Government are squandering the resources needed to fund an urgently needed green transition for the UK economy that protects industry workers. These choices put our most vulnerable in society at risk right now while offloading the debt onto younger generations. 

Although devastating, the news should come as no surprise. It is clear the Government only listens to expert advice when it’s convenient.

Donnachadh McCarthy of Extinction Rebellion said, “The Covid-19 crisis threatens 1% of humanity and we are rightly taking unprecedented action to protect our elderly and vulnerable. But the climate and ecological emergencies threaten the future of all humanity and what is left of nature. Thus, the climate and ecological effort required needs to be an order of magnitude even greater than what we are doing to protect humanity from coronavirus.

It essential that the Bank of England’s Covid-19 economic recovery plan puts the protection of future generations at its core.

The Bank of England’s list is a desperate attempt to reinforce the scaffolding of a toxic system not designed to hold us. The Government would have us believe that these debt fuelled, tax evading monoliths of environmental destruction are key to our economic recovery, but the very need for bailouts highlights the flaws in the free market growth principles they are built on. 

Any assistance must be tied to the democratic interest in the short and long term, which unquestionably means fairly and urgently addressing the climate and ecological emergency. 

We stand at a major turning point in human history. We are facing what is likely to be our last chance to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. But we are also facing our last real chance to build a resilient and future-facing economy.

It’s time to ask the Government a serious question: Who do you choose? 

People of profit?

Nature or unlimited growth?

Nurses or wealth?

Life or death?

#NoGoingBack

It turns out out we’re not alone. Here’s what others have to say on the matter:

Prime Minister, Boris Johnson: https://twitter.com/BorisJohnson/status/1268843310162022402

Positive Money: https://twitter.com/PositiveMoneyUK/status/1268556406036344832?s=20

Greenpeace UK: https://twitter.com/GreenpeaceUK/status/1268485536504844288?s=20

Zac Goldsmith, MP: https://twitter.com/ZacGoldsmith/status/1268830535088037888?s=20

Caroline Lucas: https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1268828889301823488?s=20

Prince Charles: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/jun/03/pandemic-is-chance-to-reset-global-economy-says-prince-charles

Triodos Bank UK: https://twitter.com/CarolineLucas/status/1268828889301823488?s=20

Jonathan Bartley (Green Party leader): https://twitter.com/jon_bartley/status/1268586197888221184

Katie Kedward (Economist at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose): https://twitter.com/katie_kedward/status/1268558880566542343

Greenpeace EU: https://twitter.com/GreenpeaceEU/status/1268801928475086851 

Over 40 million Health Professionals Urge G20 Leaders to Put Public Health at the Core of Covid-19 Recovery: https://healthyrecovery.net/

Notes to Editors: 

[1] https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/markets/bank-of-england-market-operations-guide/results-and-usage-data

[2] https://positivemoney.org/2020/05/press-release-govt-and-boe-comes-clean-on-corporate-bailouts/

[3] https://www.theccc.org.uk/2020/05/06/take-urgent-action-on-six-key-principles-for-a-resilient-recovery/

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 abrupt, runaway climate change. Societal collapse and mass death are seen as inevitable by scientists and other credible voices, with human extinction also a possibility, if rapid action is not taken.

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:

  1. Government must tell the truth by declaring a climate and ecological emergency, working with other institutions to communicate the urgency for change.
  2. Government must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025.
  3. Government must create and be led by the decisions of a Citizens’ Assembly on climate and ecological justice.

What Emergency? | Extinction Rebellion in Numbers |This Is Not A Drill: An Extinction Rebellion Handbook 

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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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