Climate change activists have interrupted Chancellor Philip Hammond’s speech to the annual Bankers and Merchants Dinner at Mansion House.
Television footage showed several women wearing red evening dress with Suffragette-style sashes reading ‘climate emergency’. Greenpeace claimed it was behind the protest.
They were seen being ushered out of the banquet hall as attendees in black tie looked on.
Hammond said: “The irony is that this is government that has just led the world by committing to a zero carbon economy by 2050.”
The comment was met with applause.
Areeba Hamid, climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said: “This is a climate emergency. Business as usual is no longer an option. The real bottom line, the priority that needs to come before all others, is not profit, revenue or growth, but survival. That needs to be recognised in every boardroom and on every balance sheet, starting with the Chancellor’s.
“The people in this room have been funding climate change, and we’re not giving the banks and hedge funds a pass for their unethical investment decisions anymore. The Treasury is the Government’s banker. It plays the same role propping up vested interests and blocking progress on climate change.
“But science demands a radical programme of policy interventions and public investment if our economy is to survive the coming storm. The serious, sensible, grey-suited grown-ups in the room ignored the warning signs and crashed the economy in 2008. We can’t afford to let them crash the climate too.”