I was one of around 30 people from the Welsh/English border to support the thousands of Extinction Rebellion activists protesting in London last week.

I went from Knighton to join the last week of actions.

I was arrested twice for peacefully protesting for systemic changes to our institutions to prevent more catastrophic climate chaos.

We concentrated on the City of London – a global business and financial centre – where UK banks and investors are responsible for nearly double the UK’s annual carbon emissions.

A recent report by Greenpeace and WWF found that UK finance should be considered a ‘high carbon sector’, not dissimilar to oil and gas extraction, coal mining, aviation and transport.

Although the finance sector is driving the high carbon economy there is currently no requirement for it to reduce its emissions in line with government targets.

In order for the UK to meet its global climate commitments under the Paris Agreement it needs to regulate the financial sector immediately.

After being arrested for taking over a road junction with hundreds of other people to draw attention to the financial sector’s responsibilities, I was given police bail.

Two days later I joined over 50 other protesters to break our bail conditions not to enter the City again.

I carried a placard that said ‘Arrested for conspiracy to commit climate justice’.

We were supported by hundreds of other protesters. I sat in front of the Bank of England to call out the Governor, Andrew Bailey.

We were asking for a meeting to discuss what could be done by the Bank to stop the financing of fossil fuel projects. But he did not come out and we were arrested once more.

We would have asked him to comment on the International Energy Agency statement of May this year that warned that in order to achieve net zero emissions by the 2050 date all new investment in fossil fuels would need to cease by the end of this year.

The world’s 60 largest banks have funded the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $3.8 trillion since 2016 and our action highlighted the Bank of England’s failure to regulate these banks and in fact still holds investments consistent with 3.5 C of warming by the end of the century.

We also wanted to hear what he would have to say about the Bank’s response to the Covid crisis, as last year 56 per cent of Covid funding had been distributed by the bank to carbon intensive industries, including airlines, car manufacturers and oil and gas companies.

We wanted to know why he was not supporting the transition to a more sustainable and just society, and why central banks have propped up a financial system that is facilitating climate change, ecological destruction, and a higher risk of pandemics.

There is not much that ordinary people can do to address these major climate destroying practices but we can make sure that any of us lucky enough to have pension funds or savings do ensure that they are not financing fossil fuel companies.

Angie Zelter,