This is one of the biggest meltdowns of a fossil fuel giant you’re likely to see, and it’s making headlines faster than papers can print it.
Adani is a gigantic Indian fossil fuel company. Its owner is the richest man in Asia – Gautam Adani. And he is in love with coal (the most damaging fossil fuel). They’re trying to expand coal mines across the world, including the Carmichael Coal Mine in Australia, one of the biggest in the world. But now, on top of being a climate destroyer and human rights violator, Adani is being accused of major financial fraud. Very major financial fraud. And Barclays is doing the rounds trying to assure big finance that Adani is still good.
Since the allegations of financial fraud came out, Adani has lost billions off its value, cancelled its own equity sale at the last minute, been graded as much riskier, taken on a lawsuit from Bangladesh, and it’s being effectively downgraded by banks it used to be in bed with. All except one, Barclays.
Barclays arrange more cash for fossil fuel companies than any other European bank – we’re talking billions upon billions. And this is all despite Barclays’ claims to be green and sustainable. So it’s no surprise that Barclays loves Adani. However, surprisingly, Barclays is continuing to love Adani despite the deluge of bad press, allegations of financial fraud, and sky-rocketing risk ratings.
Barclays is the main underwriter of Adani bonds. This means Barclays is a key player in helping Adani secure large sums of cash from different investors. Barclays has done so much for Adani that they’ve even made it official by becoming one of Adani’s “relationship banks”. Cute.
So while Adani is imploding, Barclays is running after Adani’s old investors yelling:
But whilst doing so, Barclays is destroying its own reputation. Because if a few small finance experts could uncover all of this in Adani’s books, why couldn’t Barclays? Plus, being in a long-term relationship with a gigantic, climate-wrecking, fraud-soaked, coal company is not the look that Barclays want to be showing.
The Barclays backlash
Barclays is, of course, facing major backlash for standing with a hugely risky, climate-destroying company like Adani. Barclays bosses have received a letter from civil society organisations, been mocked online, and faced major protests outside of HQs. Because what type of money-smart, environmentally friendly organisation would stick with an extremely high-risk coal company?
Adani isn’t Barclays’ first
Barclays has played the (fossil fuel) field. You don’t get to be the biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe without putting the miles in. As well as being an underwriter for Adani, Barclays is directly piling billions of dollars into Exxon and Shell too. And yet, it claims to be leading the charge to a sustainable future. Well, that claim was recently well and truly debunked when a report exposed that of all the money Barclays lends to fossil fuel companies, only 2% is genuinely green. The rest destroys the planet.
For @RBC that figure is 1%
Banks need to stop funding fossil fuel expansion and do everything in their power to support clean energy
Oh and stop greenwashing 😇https://t.co/oMf5DO2fmO
— Bank On Our Future (@bankonourfuture) January 24, 2023
Barclays is in bed with Adani Group. It’s time for Barclays to stop supporting one of the world’s most fraudulent, coal companies.