Take Action: Stand Up Against Nuclear Weapons Financing
November 7, 2014
The 2014 Don’t Bank on the Bomb report was launched today. We spoke with co-author of the report, Susi Snyder from PAX, about the impact of the report, and how you can take action to stop nuclear weapons financing. Act now tell your bank not to invest in nuclear weapons.
There is increased awareness among the public about the way financial institutions behave, and how they invest their money. How do you see this report contributing to increasing understanding about nuclear weapon investments?
Susi Snyder: The great thing about the Don’t Bank on the Bomb report is that it gives every person with a bank account (and that’s most of us!) an easy way to do something about nuclear weapons. You don’t need to have a background in physics or international relations or high finance to say loud and clear “these weapons are unacceptable, and I don’t want to pay for them!” This report is unique in the world because there is no other single place to find all of this information.
Why do financial institutions still invest in nuclear weapons?
Susi Snyder: Many of the companies that produce nuclear weapons also make other things that are not a global catastrophic risk. Boeing and Airbus for example are better known for making airplanes. I think many financial institutions just don’t know that the companies they are investing in have are associated with nuclear weapons.
How would a ban on nuclear weapons contribute to stigmatizing and reducing the financing of such an indiscriminate and risk prone weapons ?
Susi Snyder: Nuclear weapons are already being stigmatized because they are indiscriminate and inhumane and any use would cause catastrophic humanitarian consequences. A ban treaty would help reduce the financing of nuclear weapons if it included prohibitions on assistance, in a way similar to the Cluster Munitions Convention. PAX research has shown that including this provision in a weapons ban can lead to national legislation or interpretative statements clearly prohibiting investment. A ban treaty is urgently needed to help make this clear, just like divestment helps make clear the stigma associated with nuclear weapons.
Sometimes it feels that changing financial institutions’ behaviour is an enormous challenge that the public cannot face alone. How can a normal person contribute to challenge the current financing of nuclear weapons?
Susi Snyder: Don’t Bank on the Bomb gives everyone an opportunity to contact their bank or other financial institution. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something.