Earlier on today, 25th October, 350Africa alongside student activists from Wits University and the University of Pretoria gathered outside Standard Bank in Rosebank, Johannesburg in solidarity with impacted communities worldwide who are leading a divestment campaign. Mazaska (Money) Talks is supporting the strengthening of principles that many global banks have committed to, in a campaign coordinated by BankTrack.
BankTrack is running a campaign focused on banks that have signed up to the Equator Principles, a framework for responsible investment decision making by banks. Over 90 global financial institutions have signed up to the Equator Principles, but are still financing destructive projects.
Activists called on Standard Bank, as chair and signatory of the Equator Principles, to step into its leadership role and ensure that banks are not financing climate disaster and are respecting vulnerable peoples’ and territories. Standard Bank has recently confirmed that they will not be financing a controversial and contested coal-fired power plant in Lamu Kenya. Having demonstrated this leadership, the call focused on Standard Bank demonstrating more of this leadership by taking the opportunity to commit this course of action by influencing other banks to establish stricter enforcement of the Equator Principles to protect people and the planet in investment decisions.
During the global 3-day protest known as #DivestTheGlobe which is organised by Mazaska Talks, there were actions in at least 44 cities in the United States and Canada on Monday. Yesterday and today, there have been actions in Africa, Europe and Asia.