XR protestors target town's HSBC branch over fossil fuels

XR Portishead and Pill members protesting at HSBC in Portishead

XR Portishead and Pill members protesting at HSBC - Credit: XR

Protestors donned aprons and rubber gloves to give a Portishead bank a spruce up - urging bosses to 'clean up their act'.

On Monday (July 18), members of the Portishead and Pill Extinction Rebellion group were at HSBC, in the High Street, asking customers to demand that the banking giant stop investing in fossil fuel companies.

The action was in response to the Met Office issuing a red extreme heat warning for much of the UK as temperatures rose to 'dangerous' levels. 

The group wants HSBC to cease investing in fossil fuel companies.

HSBC says it is committed to 'phasing down' financing of fossil fuels, with science-based targets to achieve a net-zero ambition.

Group chief sustainability officer, Dr Celine Herweijer, said: "HSBC understands that the sudden energy crisis that the world finds itself in will necessitate actions in the short-term around energy security. 

"Our clients, like us, are operating in this new reality, but the longer-term imperative over the coming decades to transform business models for a net-zero future remains unchanged. 

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"If anything, the current crisis should galvanise the need to supercharge investment into the clean energy transition."

She added: "We know we need to transform the bank to achieve this, and we want to demonstrate the actions we are taking to make this happen."

But Portishead and Pill XR told customers the bank was not doing enough.

"HSBC customers need to know what the bank is doing with their money," a spokesperson for the group said. 

"Not only is it being used to fund fossil fuel companies when we need to invest in renewable energy and keep the oil, coal and gas in the ground but also with the holdings in Russian companies it is indirectly financing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine."

The protesters urged customers to demand that HSBC takes real steps to divest from the fossil fuel industry now. 

For more on the XR group for Portishead and Pill, which welcomes new members, log on to https://www.facebook.com/Extinction-Rebellion-Portishead-Pill-173199033618864, or email xrpandp@gmail.com.