No Going Back – Sundays

As we inch our way out of lockdown, we all know we can’t go back to normal. We can’t just go back to a system that puts profit before people and the environment – we have seen the cleaner air, heard the birdsong, felt the community spirit and fully appreciated the key-workers that we all rely on.

We have learnt that there actually is a magic money tree, that it’s a question of political will how it’s spent – there’s nothing inevitable about how the economy is run.

We need a new normal.

As we inch our way out of lockdown, XR are emerging too. This is only the start of our renewed campaigning

Images from 17th and 24th May 2020 : Part of the #NoGoingBack social-distanced action.

Nottingham post Article

Open letter to Pension Fund Committee

Open letter to Nottinghamshire Pension Fund: Invest to enhance well-being

Dear Committee Members,

We are writing on behalf of Extinction Rebellion Nottingham’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. We would like to begin by expressing our very strong hope that all of you and your families are well.

The Covid-19 pandemic is causing very great suffering and hardship in the UK and globally. We know it has created many issues for pension funds due to stock market falls. We would like to thank Committee members and County Council Officers for your stewardship of the Fund in this very difficult time.

Alongside urgent pandemic concerns and priorities, the climate and ecological emergency continues to advance. While environmental damage and extreme weather events have mostly been absent from mainstream media recently, they continue around the world.

The climate and ecological emergency represents an even more fundamental and enduring crisis than the current pandemic. It is a global disaster in slow motion, which has already begun, but which can – with the right decisions made now – be halted.

We are seeing in the response to the Covid-19 crisis at government, corporate and community levels that we value life and well-being above all else, and that action will be taken to protect it.

The Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Dr Fatih Birol, has called for government stimulus spending in response to Covid-19 to address the climate emergency by focusing on clean energy, energy efficiency and electricity network improvements[1].

We call on the Pension Fund to play its part in addressing the emergency, protect life and enhance well-being by increasing equity investments in companies working in these areas.

We applaud your investments in green infrastructure to date, and ask that they also be increased to enhance renewable energy generation, transmission and storage.

Equally, divesting from fossil fuel companies which are every day making the emergency more severe would be a positive step in itself and free up extra capital for sustainable investments.

This makes investment sense. Clean energy and its associated industries represent predictable returns and massive future growth.

By contrast, the fossil fuel industry is in long-term decline. This decline will be characterised by ongoing volatility affecting oil, gas and share prices as demand shrinks and producing nations and companies compete to out-supply each other. Any short-term cooperation between producer nations will inevitably break when individual countries decide it is time to ‘cash-out’ while a market still exists.

We are delighted to hear that Legal & General Investment Management has announced the creation of a fossil free fund, in response to client demand. We know that Nottinghamshire Pension Fund aspires to be at the forefront of responsible investment, and accordingly expect that the approximately £1.5bn under LGIM management will be moved into the new fund when it is launched. We hope that the Committee will be discussing this as soon meetings are able to resume.

Many thanks for your time and your ongoing work.

Yours sincerely,

Members of the Divestment Working Group

Extinction Rebellion Nottingham

[1] https://www.iea.org/commentaries/how-to-make-the-economic-recovery-from-coronavirus-an-environmentally-sustainable-one

A week of ‘Money Talks’ on Reset TV

Our economic system is hardwired for ecological destruction. Its deep fragility is being exposed by the Covid crisis, and our public money is being used to bailout the mess. We deserve better, we deserve an economic system that prioritises care for people and the planet. Join us for a week exploring why we are in this mess and what the movement can do to help steer us in a positive direction.

Catch up with these talks

The program ran throughout a week in April but now you can watch all on Youtube
Click here for youtube listings

Monday
No going back
Heading for Financial Extinction
Boardroom Rebellion

Tuesday
ABC of finance
Power of Finance Campaigning
Understanding Economics

Wednesday
HSBC’s Fossil Business
Barclays’ Fossil Business
Carbon Zero

Thursday
Standard Chartered’ Fossil Business
Moving Banks to Adopt New Policies
Money Actions Webinar

Friday
How The French Won Their Banks Over Before COP
Digital Campaigning on Banks
Beyond Growth: A New Narrative

Also a podcast available 
Extinction Rebellion Podcast Episode 9
XR takes on the Finance Sector

New online meetings announced

Covid19 is causing massive disruption, uncertainty and a myriad of challenges for us all and for our Rebellion. We’ve currently taken the decision to either cancel, or put on notice, all of our larger in-person events (although it’s not our place to tell Working Groups, Affinity Groups or individual Rebels not to meet in person if they wish) as a precaution. So….

ONLINE WHOLE GROUP MEETINGS VIA ZOOM

We have set up three whole group meetings to be held online using Zoom (see below for details)

Each will be 1.5hrs long and take the same format:

  • 30mins : Setup – log in and get used to the zoom interface and features.
  • 60mins : Meeting. The proposed agenda will be 10-15mins of information on what is currently happening in XR Nottingham, regional and national. We currently think that Covid-19 and HS2 will be the main topics. Then we’ll breakout into small groups for discussions and finally come back as a whole group for feedback.

Wed 18th 2pm https://zoom.us/j/389731783

Fri 20th 7pm   https://zoom.us/j/445836018

Sat 21st 2pm https://zoom.us/j/154835632

Zoom is an online video calling programme/app. It’s actually really easy to use and allows us to do some cool stuff with lots of us (up to 100 at time), without having to be together. 

Before the meeting, please try to set yourself up. If you have a mobile device, you could download and install the Zoom app. If you have a webcam on your computer you can also set up on there. https://zoom.us/download#client_4meeting – download the “Zoom client for Meetings” option.

You don’t need a personal Zoom account to access a zoom call (unless you want to use Zoom for setting up your own meetings) All you need to do is click on the links that we share for each meeting. If you would like to have a brief test run at connecting before the meeting, or want any advice you can email email hidden; JavaScript is required

HS2 – some links just for your interest about Hs2, it is not necessary to read these…
https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/rethinkhs2/
http://stophs2.org/
https://rebellion.earth/?s=hs2
https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/protecting-trees-and-woods/campaign-with-us/hs2-rail-link/
https://www.hs2.org.uk/

LOVE AND REBELLION,
XR NOTTINGHAM

Good News, Bad News

Good News

Look what we did on Thursday!!!


Bad News

💚💚💚URGENT MESSAGE💚💚💚

To all Nottingham Rebels: The ‘Whole group meetings’ Working Group have just decided to CANCEL tonight’s meeting at the ICC in light of advice about indoor gatherings and Covid19.

Actions Working Group will communicate their decision about the action tommorrow across all channels after their meeting at 6pm.

Apologies for any inconvenience or disappointment and any stress arising from the uncertainty, but we will flow like water and We Are All Crew. Keep your eyes open for updates and new plans. 

DIVESTMENT CAMPAIGN UPDATE – SAPLING PLANTING

XR Group with Tom Hollis--

EXTINCTION REBELLION JOIN FORCES WITH COUNCILLOR TO PLANT SYMBOLIC SAPLINGS!

Deputy Leader of Ashfield District Council – Councillor Tom Hollis joined XR Nottingham and the ‘Friends of Colwick Woods’ in the mud and rain at the weekend to plant 9 English Oak saplings.

Each sapling planted was to represent the 9 members of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Pension Fund Committee. This was part of our Divestment campaign to demand that the County Council Pension Fund stops investing in fossil fuels and invest in green and local economies.

 

We’ve offered an English Oak sapling to each member of the County Council’s Pension Fund Committee. We gave them chance to meet us and collect at the last two meetings, but none have accepted. 

But…. we did get some interest from Councillor Tom Hollis, an Ashfield Independent Councillor….

 

D50_3878-1web
Councillor Tom Hollis and Richard Brown (from Friends of Colwick Woods)
Councillor Tom Hollis and Richard Brown (from Friends of Colwick Woods)

At the last meeting of the County Council’s Pension Fund Committee, Tom Hollis proposed that “the committee immediately withdraws from, or takes progressive action to withdraw from, any fund or investment that uses fossil fuels”. Other committee members refused to back the motion!

Tom Hollis said “This County Council are light years behind where they need to be in terms of environmental responsibility. I was pleased to be able to join members of Extinction Rebellion and the Friends of Colwick Woods.  It’s imperative that Councils show leadership – investing in fossil fuels is irresponsible. In Ashfield, we are planting community orchards and planting 2 trees for everyone removed….I will continue to push on this committee for them to divest from fossil fuels.”

Flagged Sapling

XR Nottingham are really pleased to see Councillor Tom Hollis making a strong financial and moral case for divestment with his proposal at the last committee meeting!

Let’s keep this campaign rolling and see what happens next!!!

Flagged Sapling 2

There are no pensions on a dead planet

Divestment Action

XR Nottingham interrupted the Nottinghamshire Pension Fund meeting a County Hall on 20th Jan 2020. A declaration was read out loud to urge the nine voting county councillors to DIVEST the fund from fossil fuels.

Nottinghamshire County Council has invested at least £250 million from it’s pension fund in fossil fuel companies.
 
On average, each person with a pension held in this fund has £5,300 of their money contributing to global warming.
 
Mark Carney of the Bank of England has warned that oil and gas investments are likely to collapse.
 
If the pension fund crashes then schools, advice centres, carers support and many more local services would have their budgets slashed to make up some of the missing money for the 37,000 existing pensioners.
 
Extinction Rebellion want the County Councillors who sit on the Pensions Committee to sell these risky shares, then invest the money in companies which don’t add to global warming.
 
Each of the nine County Councillors responsible for the fund were invited to meet a member of Extinction Rebellion outside County Hall to accept the gift of an oak sapling, and to talk about Divestment.
 
“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.” – Greek proverb
 
None of the Councillors collected their trees. This invitation remains open and members of Extinction Rebellion Nottingham will be directly contacting each councillor to repeat the offer of a sapling.
 

Take Action Now

Help us add more voices and pressure on the committee by taking the email action – you don’t have to be a pension fund member as this affects all of us in Nottinghamshire.

Find out more about our Divestment Working Group

 

The Declaration

 

Nottingham Extinction Rebellion will speak for four minutes and then leave in an orderly fashion to allow you to continue the rest of the meeting uninterrupted. 

We are here today to declare that this Committee’s continued failure to divest the Pension Fund out of fossil fuels is economically, morally and environmentally indefensible. 

The scientific evidence is overwhelming. We have already entered a period of rapid global heating driven primarily by burning fossil fuels.  

The Paris Agreement of 2015 recognised that unless we take immediate and radical steps to reduce emissions we face a terrifying future of climate chaos, ecological breakdown and mass extinctions. 

This is an emergency and we ALL must act now. 

Companies like Shell and BP can only continue their ecocidal activities with the support of the financial system. At present this Pension Fund has at over 250 million pounds invested directly in oil, gas and coal companies. 

Over the past year we have repeatedly brought this to your attention via hundreds of emails and letters, a signed petition; tabled questions at the AGM; and other peaceful demonstrations- but these have all been ignored.

Today we have brought each of the 9 voting councillors a gift of an English Oak tree, symbolising our shared hopes of a sustainable future for the planet. 

Councillors, your sapling can be still be collected in the foyer after this meeting ends.  

You nine councillors, who have chosen to leave the chamber, have the power to change things here and now.  We demand that you act urgently, wisely and responsibly on behalf of your pension fund members, and indeed us all, by taking immediate steps to divest.

The Governor of the Bank of England recently warned that fossil fuel investments are likely to see a massive collapse in value over the next few years.  By failing to divest now you are therefore risking ruin for your 47,000 pension fund members and failing in your primary duty of safeguarding their financial security in retirement. 

Over 160 UK institutions including 8 local government pension funds have already committed to divestment. Nottingham City Council backs divestment of the Pension Fund as consistent with their own commendable 2028 zero carbon target.

Your current policy of engagement with fossil fuel companies is clearly not working. Their statements remain nothing more than cynical spin and green-wash. We urge you instead to invest in businesses that can help us transition to a zero carbon economy, whose share value, in contrast to fossil fuel companies, are predicted to rise rapidly.

If you fail to take concrete steps to begin divestment now, you leave Extinction Rebellion no choice but to continue to escalate our actions.

Further delay threatens the financial security of your members and the future of us all. 

THERE ARE NO PENSIONS ON A DEAD PLANET


Links for further reading

4. The Garnaut Climate Change Review  quotes Lucas et al writing in 2007.
5. UN Principles for Responsible Investment on the Inevitable Policy Response of climate change risk 
6. Pension Fund list of equity holdings
7. Nottinghamshire Pension Fund 2019 AGM record of Q&A session
8. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to prevent dangerous climate change, seeking it limit temperature rise to 1.5°C if possible. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s 2018 Special Report showed that 1.5°C is the safe limit for warming. Warming beyond this would bring catastrophic and runaway climate change. To limit temperature rise, global emissions must reduce by 45% by 2030 (from 2010 levels) and must be net zero by 2050

The Hourglass – Out Now !!!

the hourglass disco dolls

THE HOURGLASS newspaper has arrived in Nottingham!!

1000 copies of the official XR-supported independant newspaper ‘The Hourglass’ will to hit the streets today!

Look out for it around town in various outlets and also at all of our upcoming talks and events.

This is issue three and it’s hot off the press!
(Issue four out mid-January!)