Barclays Bank targeted by climate activists for fossil fuels

A quarter of Barclays customers say they would consider switching banks if they didn’t take more ambitious climate action, according to a new survey, as a report calls the bank the “worst in Europe” for fuel financing. fossils.

The survey commissioned by the campaign group 38 degrees and shared exclusively with The independent found that 26% of the bank’s customers said they would likely consider moving their money if it didn’t come up with a more ambitious plan than the proposed climate strategy that will be voted on at the annual general meeting in Manchester on Wednesday .

That plan includes the 2020 ambition to reach net zero by 2050 and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions – known as Scope 1 and 2 emissions – by 90% from 2018 levels by the end of 20. to provide 100% renewable electricity. at the same time for its global operations.

The 90 percent reduction does not include so-called “scope 3 emissions” that result from all other indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, such as employee commuting.

An image of a sign file above the entrance to a Barclays Bank branch in London’s Knightsbridge

(Getty Images)

The strategy also states that the bank aims to reduce funded emissions in the energy, energy, cement and steel sectors by the end of 2030, including reducing total energy emissions by 40% – scope 1, 2 and 3. By 2023, the plan states that the bank aims not to finance new customers engaged in thermal coal mining and not to finance existing customers who generate more than 30% of the revenues from thermal coal mining.

But the analysis of the environmental activist group, Market Forces, states Barclays plan he will fail to reach the net zero goal he has set.

“It’s okay for Barclays bosses to sit there and look at their balance sheets at the end of the year and see how much money they make,” said one customer who took part in the survey.

“But unless they start balancing their accounts with the environmental destruction their investments are causing, I’ll close my account.”

Meanwhile, a group of protesters gathered outside the AGM meeting venue on Wednesday to ask the bank to stop financing fossil fuels. Extinction Rebellion later claimed to have played Barclays AGM.

Protesters also disrupted Standard Chartered Bank’s general meeting which was taking place in London on Wednesday. The breaks follow a similar stunt at HSBC’s AGM on Friday, in which an ABBA flash mob began singing during the president’s speech.

A statement from Fossil Free London, a group campaigning for a London beyond fossil fuels, cited the latter financial report on fossil fuels. which found that Barclays is “the worst” bank in Europe for financing fossil fuels in the six years since the adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015. The Paris Agreement aims to maintain the rise in global average temperatures “well below “2 degrees Celsius, ideally no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

According to the report on fossil fuel financing, produced by Rainforest Action Network and other groups, Barclays financed fossil fuels with $ 167 billion (£ 133 billion) between 2016 and 2021 and is the seventh “worst” bank in the world. for the financing of fossil fuels.

Ros Rice, a demonstrator from Liverpool, who had planned to join the demonstrations, said: “We taxpayers bailed out the banks in 2008 and now we thank us by leading us to destruction with huge investments in fossil fuels.”

“They couldn’t be more numb.” Rice said it in the press release released by Fossil Free London.

Last month, the latest chapter of the report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that global greenhouse gas emissions will need to peak before 2025 to limit warming to 1.5 degrees.

“It is a shame dossier to catalog the empty commitments that put us firmly on the right path to an unlivable world,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres as he introduced the publication of the new report. “We are on a fast track to climate disaster.”

The independent reached out to Barclays for comment.

The survey was conducted by JL Partners, a polling company, who surveyed a representative sample of 1033 people in Britain on April 28, the data were weighted by age, gender, region and past grade, it said 38 grades.

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