Barclays publishes new energy policy – ShareAction response
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Barclays announced a new policy excluding project finance for upstream oil and gas expansion projects and related infrastructure. It also adopted new commitments restricting finance for oil and gas projects in the Amazon, ultra-deep water and coal captive plants and mines. Nevertheless, Barclays is still far from being aligned with a 1.5ºC scenario and a just fossil fuel finance phase-out, let alone taking action to repair the human suffering its financing keeps inflicting on communities on the frontlines of climate change.
BankTrack has engaged with Barclays for many years regarding its fossil fuel policy and its involvement in Dodgy Deals. Last year, within a coalition, we targeted Barclays’ AGM to expose its support to Norwegian oil major Equinor and its links to North Sea and Arctic oil and gas. For several years, BankTrack and partners have also highlighted Barclays as the biggest European bank financier of fossil fuels in the Banking on Climate Chaos Report.
Responding to today’s publication of Barclays’ energy policy, which was published following engagement with ShareAction and investors, Kelly Shields, Campaign Manager at responsible investment charity ShareAction said:
“ShareAction welcomes the publication of Barclays’ policy update. It contains some positive commitments from the bank including its decision to set basic climate tests for its oil and gas clients, alongside its promise to stop financing new oil and gas projects directly.
“However, the strategy could have gone so much further. Barclays’ intention to request decarbonisation plans from its oil and gas clients is the right one. But for it to have teeth, the bank must demand clients stop engaging in activities that increase the climate crisis such as oil and gas exploration.
“Barclays is wrong not to have ruled out financing companies that focus exclusively on fossil fuel extraction. This should include fracking, which is causing so much environmental and social harm and is an activity the bank is heavily exposed to.
“We should expect the banks’ shareholders to hold them to account on this policy and make significant efforts to close the loopholes in this strategy.”
You can find ShareAction's full analysis of the policy here.
Notes to editors
The Banking Standards team at ShareAction partners with asset managers, asset owners, NGOs, retail investors and representatives of affected communities to demand Europe’s largest banks phase out financing to polluting activities and increase the flow of capital into low-carbon alternatives.