By Ellen Ormesher, Senior Reporter

November 28, 2023 | 3 min read

The Academy Award-winner stars as ‘Oblivia Coalmine,’ a power-hungry Big Oil CEO, in the latest campaign for Richard Curtis-backed Make My Money Matter.

The campaign, founded by filmmaker and activist Richard Curtis, aims to give savers more voice and choice over their money so that their pension, investments, and bank align with their values and build a better world.   

New public polling by Opinium shows that such investments are not just bad for the planet – but they are also unpopular with savers. Just 19% of UK pension holders support their scheme investing in oil and gas, compared with two-thirds (66%) who support their pension investing in renewables.

Despite this, industry action on this agenda is painfully slow. Not one UK pension scheme has committed to stopping finance for fossil fuel expansion, despite clear guidance from the International Energy Agency that new oil and gas is incompatible with the 1.5-degree warming target of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Previously attracting household name celebrities including Game of Thrones stars Kit Harrington and Rose Leslie, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson and Mark Rylance, the latest spot by Lucky Generals, ‘Oblivian’ features Olivia Colman as the smooth-talking and sinister CEO of an oil company.

In the video, directed by Raine Allen-Miller, Colman or ‘Oblivia Coalmine’ thanks the viewers on behalf of the fossil fuel industries for their generosity in unwittingly giving their pension funds to help them enjoy a bumper year of profits.

She explains that the cash from our pensions has helped “dig, drill and destroy” as never before, then cheerfully quipping that they even managed to throw a couple of wind turbines in to “keep Greta and her chums happy,” a reference to an increasing focus on greenwashing in the oil and gas industry.

The campaign has been created to help Make My Money Matter raise public awareness of the damaging links between the UK pensions industry and the climate emergency. Make My Money Matter is launching the ad ahead of COP28 in UAE and calling on all pension schemes to rule out investing in companies driving fossil fuel expansion.

Richard Curtis, co-founder of Make My Money Matter, says: “I’ve seen some dark, dystopian characters in my career, and that doesn’t even include Hugh Grant in Love Actually. But I think Oblivia Coalmine is right up there with the worst.

At Make My Money Matter, we hope this sinister performance by Olivia Colman will highlight a more serious issue – that billions of pounds of our hard-earned pensions are driving the climate crisis. People across the UK want their money to help our planet, not harm it, and all our pension schemes must now pay attention and take immediate and urgent action.”

Danny Brooke-Taylor from Lucky Generals adds: “The cruel irony is that while we all save for the future, the pension companies are investing in industries that are actively destroying it.”

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