Extinction Rebellion called for Barclays bank to stop the funding of fossil fuels at protests outside Stevenage and Welwyn Garden City branches yesterday. 

The international movement had protesters participate in a "die-in", where they laid in hazmat suits to symbolise people who are dying due to climate change. 

Both the Stevenage and WGC protests were held yesterday (Monday, November 14) along with others that took action at over 100 Barclays branches across the UK. 

Protesters also stood outside the branches handing out pamphlets to notify people of their cause, Barclays investments in fossil fuels and information on how to switch their banks to more environmentally-friendly banks.  

Other High Street banks produce six times less emissions per pound in a current account than Barclays, a Financial Times article read

The protesters also held banners that read ‘Stop Funding Climate Destruction’ and an image of a dead Barclays blue eagle with tears streaming and a caption that read ‘Top UK Funder of Fossil Fueled Climate Crisis.’ Welwyn Hatfield Times: Extinction Rebellion protestors outside Barclays Bank in Stevenage.Extinction Rebellion protestors outside Barclays Bank in Stevenage. (Image: North Herts Extinction Rebellion)

One protestor, Maryla, who only wished to share her first name, attended both protests in Stevenage and WGC yesterday, and said: “At a time when we are facing an unprecedented climate and ecological emergency, we can’t be investing in fossil fuels. It’s madness! It could potentially lead to human extinction. 

“We cannot continue along this trajectory while there is already so much suffering in the world due to climate change, the refugee crisis, famine, droughts and floods and people losing their livelihoods and not being able to feed their children.” Welwyn Hatfield Times: Extinction Rebellion protestor with 'Stop Funding Extinction' poster.Extinction Rebellion protestor with 'Stop Funding Extinction' poster. (Image: North Herts Extinction Rebellion)

Extinction Rebellion co-founder Gail Bradbrook said: “Hundreds of people staged an intervention on Barclays, sending a message to the high street bank that with protests taking place at over 100 of their branches they are rapidly losing the social license to do business in towns and cities of the UK.  

“It’s high time that Barclays recognised the destructive role they are playing as Europe’s largest financier of fossil fuels and changed course.

“We want Barclays to stop funding nature destroying projects and more than that we want them to show leadership.

"We ask them to publicly denounce an economic system that is geared towards the destruction of the planet, we want them to admit in public what bankers tell us in private – that they aren’t changing fast enough because the current system incentivises harmful behaviour.” 

UN Secretary General, António Guterres, warned: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”  Welwyn Hatfield Times: Protestors with a 'Stop Funding Climate Change Destruction' banner outside Welwyn Garden City Barclays branch.Protestors with a 'Stop Funding Climate Change Destruction' banner outside Welwyn Garden City Barclays branch. (Image: North Herts Extinction Rebellion)

This summer the UK recorded its hottest ever temperature, and there were three times the usual number of wildfires, the Met Office said.