The Big Shift

Christian Aid is campaigning for banks to make the Big Shift away from fossil fuels and into support for renewable energy.

In the Paris Agreement of 2015, world leaders pledged to stop global temperatures rising above two degrees. To achieve this, governments and scientists are united in agreeing that we must move towards a zero carbon economy.

There is also a strong financial case for shifting away from fossil fuels - in 2016, The World Economic Forum identified the failure to tackle climate change as the biggest risk we face. UK banks manage trillions of pounds of our money. It’s up to us to be interested in how they use it.

Christian Aid research shows that the banks managing our money are still much more heavily invested in fossil fuel companies than in renewable energy companies. Our economy has been based on fossil fuels for over 100 years, so we understand that it’s not as easy as simply changing all of their loans and investments overnight.

But what is worrying is the lack of a clear plan or commitment from the banks as to how to change this current balance and scale up investments in renewables. To love our neighbours and God’s abundant planet as we’re entrusted to do requires a big shift in finances towards renewable energy.

Christian Aid is asking for banks to make a clear commitment to end the financing of fossil fuels. They should set clear targets to decrease this and to increase the financing of renewable energy generation, to meet the Paris agreements. And they should publish the carbon footprint resulting from their investments and loans, not just their operations.

So what can we do? At the moment Christian Aid is focusing on the 4 major high street banks and one of those is the Royal Bank of Scotland, which Fulwood Methodist Church banks with. We can use our influence as their customer to encourage them to take the steps above.

In the New Year a big poster will appear in the Willow Grove - Prudence the Pig - and all are invited to use the ‘money’ stickers to write a brief message to the bank to stick on the ‘piggy bank’. It could be a simple message asking the bank to ‘make the big shift’ or an example of how you are investing in a better world yourself or a reminder of how climate change is so badly affecting our neighbours all around the world. We will then take our poster of messages to present to the RBS, together with an explanatory letter.

Look at the Big Shift website here.

The Outreach Group