Lloyds AGM disrupted by climate and pro-Palestine protests

  • Post last modified:May 17, 2024
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Climate and pro-Palestine activists joined forces to interrupt the Lloyds Annual General Meeting (AGM) to demand the bank stop financing in fossil fuel companies and companies profiting from Israel’s occupation and genocide.

Lloyds AGM: disrupted over its complicity

Several shareholders interrupted the chair of the meeting, demanding Lloyds rule out investments in coal, oil and gas, and arms companies – and companies operating on Occupied Palestinian territory:

Despite a partnership with the Woodland Trust and claims that they will reduce the carbon emissions they finance by over 50% by 2030, Lloyds invested $1.8bn into the fossil fuel industry in 2023 alone. Between 2016-2022, Lloyds provided $15bn of financing for the fossil fuel companies. This includes financing of $720m in oil giant Shell.

In addition to this, research by PAX conducted in 2022 showed that Lloyds Banking Group provided almost €4.5bn in financial services to arms companies, and was the 8th largest financier for arms companies in Europe. This includes €273.9m of financing for BAE Systems and €455.5m to Lockheed Martin.

Protestors condemned Lloyds’ investments – but predictably security removed them:

It must act now

Cath Dyer from Christian Climate Action, said:

Lloyd’s could be the first major bank in the world to be completely fossil-free. At this moment, there are countless organisations around the UK that are looking for ethical banking options. You are telling us that you are maximising the returns for your investors and at the same time, you are turning business away.

22 universities and colleges are looking for a fossil-free bank right now. But they won’t switch their accounts to Lloyds as long as Lloyds keeps its ties with oil giants like Shell that are destroying our planet and are accused of human rights abuses.

Gordon Keenan from Scottish Friends of Palestine said:

We call on Lloyds to stop financing arms companies BAE systems and Lockheed Martin, which both supply the Israeli military. We are simply calling on the bank to comply with international law. As the ICJ has ruled, Palestinians must be protected from genocide.

Lloyds must stop financing arms companies now if it does not want to be held responsible for genocide and human rights abuses linked to occupation.

Josie, a climate justice campaigner, said:

The climate crisis and Israeli occupation, apartheid and genocide are intrinsically linked issues. Both have their roots in settler colonialism and both rely on financial institutions like Lloyds to operate. On top of this, Israeli occupation of Palestine has long relied on the contamination of water supplies and the destruction of nature.

The movement for climate justice and for a free Palestine are united and Lloyds must listen.

Nat Gorodnitski from Breaking the Bank and SOS-UK said:

Lloyds prides itself on its reputation as a high street bank that everyday people can rely on, but its financing strategy is unreliable and destructive. Most of us in Scotland do not want the Rosebank oil field to go ahead. We don’t want to prop up oil giants like Shell that are destroying our planet and are accused of human rights abuses. Lloyds must stop financing arms and fossil fuels now.

Featured image via Tipping Point UK

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