COP26

COP26: Financiers are the new Swampys, says Alok Sharma

The president of the COP26 climate talks, Alok Sharma, likened financiers to the climate activist, Swampy.

Alok Sharma, 3 November 2021. Photo: Livestream

Speaking at the opening of a day at the climate talks focusing on finance, Mr Sharma said:

“When I started my career in finance in the 1990 in the City, there was a guy called Swampy – some of you may recall him? He spent his time occupying trees and tunnels and he was the main face of climate action in the United Kingdom.

“But today the Swampys of the world are all around us, in boardrooms, in government departments, in multilateral development banks and trading floors all around the world – you, my friends, are the new Swampys, so be proud.

“That means finance is increasingly flowing to climate action. Delivering the Paris agreement requires nothing short of aligning all financial flows with clean and resilient development, and of course we know that the devastation caused by the pandemic makes this all the more urgent.”

Swampy – Dan Hooper – became well-known in actions to stop road projects in the 1990s. His nickname became used by some for any environmental campaigner.

The Guardian reports that Swampy is spending his 20th day in a tunnel in Wendover, in Buckinghamshire, to an attempt to stop the HS2 rail project.

His fellow campaigner, Dr Larch Maxey, told the paper:

“If only what he (Alok Sharma] said was true. If only we were all Swampys – then we wouldn’t be in the greatest threat humanity has ever faced.”

DrillOrDrop’s reporting at COP26 has been made possible by donations by individual readers

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