From way back when, Greenbelt has made room to engage with the impacts of Climate Change.
In the early 1990s, Midnight Oil thundered through a set on the mainstage, with Peter Garrett, their lead singer, urging the festival to look at a world on a fire as humankind plundered its resources (“How do we sleep when our beds are burning?”). In the noughties, Jonathan Porritt, Tony Juniper and the late Dame Anita Roddick all visited the festival with a message of urgency about the need for us to change behaviours in order to safeguard the future of our planet. And, of course, our partners Christian Aid have long campaigned on this issue – with the planet’s poorest usually the most impacted by the ravages of increasing climate chaos.
This year, we’re standing shoulder to shoulder with Christian Aid and collaborating with them on the Big Shift Campaign. There will be lots at the festival in August about what this means, but ahead of that, there’s plenty we can do.
The campaign itself has been running for just under a year now and it brings together Christian Aid’s twin campaigning concerns for the last five years or more – climate justice and financial justice.
We’re living in an age of ‘alternative facts’ and ‘fake news’. But here’s the reality …
Carbon pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is in turn fuelling climate change, threatening the lives of all on our planet – especially the poorest and most vulnerable – and putting all of our futures at risk.
Right now, the biggest banks in the UK – the ones that most of us rely upon to look after our money – are not using that money (trillions of pounds) to look after our earth, our common home. These banks are continuing to use our money to finance the extraction and burning of fossil fuels, when it could be powering the rise of the clean energy that we all need for the future of our planet.
The Big Shift campaign urges these high street banks to make the shift away from fossil fuels into renewable clean energy.
We know that switching can’t be an overnight thing. But what is perhaps most concerning is that there doesn’t even seem to be a plan for this switch. And the window to make these plans, and then to start to act on them, is now. If we don’t plan and change these big systems in the next couple of years, we will have missed the chance to ensure the two-degree world that the groundbreaking Paris Agreement on climate change committed us to.
That’s why we’re standing with Christian Aid in their call to action. It’s time to get our banks to put our money to good use.
You can find out much more about the campaign and take action online here. We’ll blog more about the campaign and our plans to roll it out across the year and at this year’s festival over the coming weeks and months.