Members of the local World Development Movement group met with the Bexhill and Battle MP to persuade him to get UK banks out of coal.
Following on from their campaign outside HSBC bank in Devonshire Road in October, the group confronted Greg Barker to ask him to push for new rules to stop UK banks pouring billions of pounds into the global coal industry.
Greg Barker is the Minister of State for energy and climate change.
Branch member Christina Lucey said: “In November the UK government announced it would stop using UK aid money for coal projects overseas. But the money going into coal from UK banks is at least 27 times what the government spent.
The UK’s five biggest banks have invested £12 billion in coal mining around the world since 2005. Of all fossil fuels, coal has the most damaging effect on climate change.”
The campaigners from the Bexhill and Hastings WDM group also highlighted the “devastating” effects of coal on people living where it is mined.
Christina commented: “UK banks are financing a coal boom in Indonesian Borneo, which is destroying the forests and rivers indigenous people rely on.
In Colombia, whole villages have been wiped off the map by the massive Cerrejón coal mine, also financed by UK bank.
Chairman Denis Lucey said: “Coal is a disaster for the climate and for local communities. It’s great that the government is stopping aid money going to coal – but unless our banks pull out of coal, UK money will carry on financing these man-made disasters across the world.
“We need government regulation to make the banks change their ways.”
The Bexhill and Hastings branch of WDM has been campaigning for nearly fourteen years for justice for the world’s poor - tackling the root causes of poverty and working for real change long term.
The WDM has a reputation for punching above its weight and has been instrumental in bringing about better conditions for the poor, for example it exposed trade negotiations aimed at removing government regulations of services, which could threaten access to water, education and health care for the world’s poor.
Full details can be accessed on the website www.wdm.org.uk
For more information please contact Denis on 01424 845225