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Imagine! Belfast Festival of Ideas & Politics
Banking on Climate change

Sun 28th March 2021 - Sun 28th March 2021, Online

The world’s banks and financial institutions are often regarded as the hidden villains of the climate crisis in that the provide the money that keeps the world’s biggest polluters in business.

All over the world, people are fighting back by forcing banks, insurance companies and pension funds to move our money away from fossil fuels. This strategy is bearing fruit, with new polluting mega–projects starting to struggle to obtain finance. Without money, the polluters cannot function.

What can we do in Northern Ireland as part of this worldwide movement? Hear from campaigners across the world and locally about how we can cut off the pipeline of money that keeps the world’s polluters in business.

Speakers include:

Adam McGibbon (chair) is a writer and campaigner originally from Belfast. He recently led a three–year campaign that forced the British Government to end its financing of fossil fuel projects overseas and is currently the lead campaigner for Market Forces UK, an organisation tackling British banks funding the climate crisis. His writing on climate and activism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, The New Statesman and elsewhere.

Alec Connon, Stop the Money Pipeline Coordinator with 350 Seattle grew up in a small village in south–central Scotland. He spent most of his twenties dondering around the world not very sure what to do with himself. He moved to Duwamish and Coast Salish territory in late 2014, and immediately got involved with 350 Seattle. He spent much of 2015 working on his first campaign, Gates Divest—flyering outside of the Gates Foundation, paddling kayaks to the shores of the Gates’ mansion, and annoying the Gates Foundation security guards with a variety of songs and dances about their fossil fuel investments. By sheer coincidence, they sold the majority of their fossil fuel stocks later that year. Since then he has been all–in with the 350 Seattle community. His first novel, The Activist, was published in 2016 and was BBC Wildlife’s Book of the Month. He lives with his family, including a very small and cute puppy, in north Seattle.

V’cenza Cirefice is an artist, ecofeminist researcher and activist from the Mournes. She first got involved with divestment campaigning while at university in Aberdeen in 2012, she is now part of the Fossil Free NI campaign as a member of her local group Fossil Free South Down. Previously working with Young Friends of the Earth Europe, Plan International, The Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, and Almyras environmental network in Cyprus, she is currently a PhD researcher in NUI Galway, exploring resistance to extractivism in the Sperrins

Sophie Cowen is the Campaign Lead for SwitchIt, a campaign providing individuals with a simple, effective way to act on climate. Using SwitchIt’s online tool (, individuals can find out whether their banks or energy companies are funding fossil fuels and see alternatives to switch to.



28 March 2021 17:00 – 18:00 BST