Extinction Rebellion campaigners protest outside Sheffield’s HSBC building

Environmental activists protested today outside HSBC’s Sheffield branch to raise awareness of a key shareholder meeting.

Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:30 pm

The meeting is taking place in London as the bank is set to phase out its support for the coal industry in the developed world by 2030 and in the developing world by 2040.

Its new goals also include short and medium-term targets on aligning its financing with the landmark Paris agreement on climate change.

Sheffield campaigners from Extinction Rebellion gathered outside the company’s local branch on Fargate.

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XR protest outside HSBC on Fargate. Picture Scott Merrylees

There was also a short performance by the XR Drama Group, who encouraged people to come along to cheer, boo and offer support.

Richard Teasdale, a member of the group, said: “Our aim is to highlight environmental issues in an engaging way, in and around Sheffield. This latest piece is to illustrate, how at their annual general meeting, HSBC shareholders have a fantastic opportunity to do the right thing for the planet and phase out their multi billion pound financing of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels that are fuelling the climate crisis.”

It follows a performance by the group outside Ponds Forge last week ahead of Sheffield Council’s annual meeting in which new leadership was formally appointed and announced.

They had speeches, poems and songs.

Ian McHugh, campaigner, said: “We are welcoming the councillors from all different parties to the first full council meeting as we think it’s really important that they recognise the urgency of the climate emergency.

“This is urgent now. To solve the climate problems facing Sheffield over the next 10 years we need to start today.”