A mother and daughter installed a sofa, plants and coffee table at a branch of Barclays in York this morning to bring home their opposition to the bank’s investment in fracking.
Nicky Hollins and her daughter Ruby also brought with them a photo of their home in Ryedale, North Yorkshire, where Third Energy, largely owned by Barclays, has permission to frack.
The stunt was part of a nationwide week of action against Barclays’ investment in Third Energy and other fossil fuel companies. DrillOrDrop understands the mother and daughter were asked to leave the branch.
In May this year, North Yorkshire County Council approved Third Energy’s plans to frack at Kirby Misperton in Ryedale, even though almost all the comments to a public consultation on the application were objections.
Nicky Hollins said:
“I’m taking action this week along with my daughter, because if we stand back and do nothing there will be nothing left to save.
“We have lived in Ryedale for 10 years because we love living in an area that is so very beautiful and unspoilt. Ryedale has some of the most stunning countryside and wildlife in the country and we feel very blessed to live in such a special place.
“It must be protected so that it can be appreciated for generations to come as it should be with full access to clean water, air and land, and a safe climate. We are extremely worried about what fracking could do to Ryedale.”
Her 13-year-old daughter, Ruby, said:
“If I could send a message to Barclays it would be to urge you to not invest your money into an unnecessary project that could pollute our water and land. Instead you could use the money to fund sustainable energy such as wind farms, solar power and tidal energy.
“Fracking is not the solution. For my generation, please reconsider what you are wasting your money on and give us a sustainable and healthy future. Please Barclays, don’t frack my home.”
Barclays issued a statement on the protest.
“Through Global Natural Resources Investments, Barclays has a majority stake in Third Energy: a British business with a history of investment and good corporate citizenship in North Yorkshire. Third Energy has been drilling, developing and producing gas in the region for over 20 years, with an excellent environmental and safety record.
“We are conscious of the concerns of local communities and other groups over potential environmental and community impacts, which we take seriously and will continue to monitor. We have worked closely with Third Energy to ensure their plans are compatible with our values.”
The national week of action has been organised by Friends of the Earth, 350.org, SumOfUs, People and Planet and the community group, Frack Free Ryedale.
Simon Bowens, Friends of the Earth Yorkshire campaigner, said:
“Barclays bank, through their billions invested in fossil fuels, are wreaking climate chaos on communities across the world. We demand that they start acting as responsible corporate citizens by stopping funding fracking in North Yorkshire.”
The week of action includes more than 30 events around the UK. More details at DrillOrDrop’s What’s Happening This Week? post.
DrillOrDrop asked Barclays to respond to the nationwide protest. The bank sent a detailed statement which summarised its view of the risks of fracking and made the following points:
- Any potential risks associated with hydraulic fracturing are low and can be managed in a properly regulated industry
- Third Energy’s gas operations in North Yorkshire have had no discernible effect on agriculture, tourism and fishing and there is no reason to believe this will change in future.
- “Third Energy plans and operates its wells in accordance with the UK’s robust regulatory regime. … There is consequently very low risk of ground and surface water pollution.”
- Traffic will be kept to an “absolute minimum”
- Shale gas is an alternative to other fossil fuels while “more efficient renewables” can be developed.