Write to UK Finance to ask if they have an ethical policy

Template letter to write to UK Finance to ask if they have an ethical policy

FAO Clare Woodman
Lead,  Ethics, 
UK Finance
5th Floor
1 Angel Court
London EC2R 7HJ

Dear Clare

I am writing to you as you are listed on the website of UK Finance as “lead” for ethics. I am writing to ask if, as the trade association that represents the UK finance sector you have an ethical policy on finance for fossil fuel companies in general and unconventional gas development (fracking) in particular. If you do not have an ethical policy is it your intention to develop one?


As you are no doubt aware from publicity about the so called “Carbon Bubble” the oil, gas and coal industries cannot possible develop and sell all of their reserves without a catastrophic effect on the global climate. Indeed research by Oil Change International has shown that the potential carbon emissions from oil, gas and coal in the world’s currently operating fields and mines would take us beyond 2degrees C of warming. That means ANY exploration to open up new fossil fuel reserves is going to make the situation worse – so arranging finance for new production is UNETHICAL.  http://priceofoil.org/2016/09/22/the-skys-limit-report/


Despite this from 2014 to 2016 big banks around the world pured $290 billion into extreme fossil fuel companies, often failing to respect human rights. http://priceofoil.org/2017/06/21/banking-on-climate-change/


In the UK a particular concern is finance for the development of unconventional gasfields. Despite outdated UK government and industry propaganda there is now a great deal of good quality information, based on peer reviewed academic research which shows that fracking is a local public health and environmental risk.  http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0154164 This is in addition to the dangerous climate implications. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oon11wQcgYU


In conclusion, there could hardly be more important ethical questions than these. They are, on the other hand, extremely inconvenient to say the least. The temptation to push these issues out of one’s mind and ignore them – psychological avoidance and denial – are very great. The temptation is also great to see this as a PR issue to be resolved by cynical documents stating good intentions which have no practical implications whatsoever. However these are issues that are not going to go away and the lives of billions of people in the future depend on the decisions taken now. So, to repeat: Does UK Finance have an ethical policy on these matters? If not does UK Finance intend to develop an ethical policy?




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