Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is expected to join protesters who have gathered in London and across the world on Friday, demanding that big finance defunds fossil fuel investments.
Pressure groups are demonstrating at over 50 locations across Europe, North America, Africa and Australia ahead of COP26, which begins in Glasgow this weekend.
The demonstrations aim to highlight the role that big finance is playing in exacerbating the climate crisis.
Organizers argue that banks have poured $3.8 trillion into fossil fuel extraction since the 2015 Paris agreement, despite net zero targets.
Giant murals will be painted in global financial centers using ash from houses that have been destroyed in wildfires, they said.
Joseph Sikulu, from the Pacific Climate Warriors group, a youth-led grassroots network working with communities to fight climate change from the Pacific Islands, said that “financial institutions that continue to invest in dirty fossil fuel projects are also investing in the destruction of our islands and our homes."
"It’s time for the corporations who have caused this crisis to be held accountable," he said, adding:
“The science is clear. We need to do everything we can to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, the survival of our islands depends on that. To get there we need to defund the climate chaos.
In the City of London, activists will take part in climate memorials outside major banks and insurers with a candle-lit vigil taking place at the Bank of England in the City o at 5:30 p.m. ET local time (12:30 p.m ET)
Activist Mitzi Jonelle Tan, who traveled thousands of miles to demonstrate in London on Friday, said that the issue is personal.
“I know the families in Bulacan, Philippines forced from their homes because of a project funded by Standard Chartered Bank. That’s why I’ve traveled thousands of miles to stand on the steps of the bank’s HQ in the City of London and demand they defund fossil fuel."
Tan added that climate change has already taken the lives of millions of people around the world and that extreme weather has been linked to nearly 10% of global deaths -- resulting in around five million annual deaths.
“The global day of action will be a moment to honor their memories and ensure that they did not die in vain," Tan said.