Over the last few weeks Barclays have come under increasing pressure as protests have intensified. From Kendal to Bristol, Glasgow to St Albans, Barclays have come under fire for the financing of fossil fuels across the country.
When Lloyds of London opened their doors on the 1st September they were greeted with a clear message: stop insuring catastrophic fossil fuel projects.
When @LloydofLondon reopened its famous underwriting building today, @InsOurFuture protested outside, calling on the insurance marketplace to ‘wash its hands of coal and tar sands’ and to stop insuring catastrophic #fossilfuel projects.
For those scratching their heads on why big banks continue to pour billions into the companies making the climate crisis worse, we found one of the answers!
As detailed in this new article from our partner People & Planet in The Ecologist, the finance director at Barclays just joined BP’s board as a director.
The Bank of England is facing fresh pressure to revise its pandemic rescue program after research from the New Economics Foundation showed it’s effectively subsidizing polluting industries while claiming tackling climate change is a priority.
One of our partners Platform London is hard at work campaigning for British banks and other institutions to divest from fossil fuels. Next Wednesday, 5-6:30pm, they are hosting a webinar in conversation with Suzanne Dhaliwal from UK tar sands network & Sakina Sheikh, London LEAP campaigner & local councillor for Lewisham.
Activists have today descended on a Barclays branch in London, in protest against the bank providing billions of pounds to coal, the most polluting fuel, since UN scientists warned we have 10 years left to avert the worst consequences of the climate crisis.
These grassroots activists had a little fun spoofing Barclays’s latest ad campaign today. Below is their press release, and be sure to visit the new Sharklays.co.uk also!
You’ve heard of Barclays, now meet Sharklays, the subvertising alter ego of the high street bank that’s one of the world’s biggest financiers of climate devastation.
Today grassroots activists organized a socially distant protest at Barclays Bank’s offices in London demanding they take action not only on the climate crisis but their history supporting slavery.
The action was covered by Bloomberg Green which said:
Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion has called on Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley to recognize the lender’s historic role in the slave trade and do more on climate change.
This opinion piece in Foreign Affairs points out how much of the stimulus created by world governments has gone to carbon-intensive industries and the fossil fuel sector that needs to be wound down in order to stave off the worst impacts of the climate crisis.
It feels a lot like momentum….!
First Andrew Bailey was forced to respond to activists who emailed and called him. Here’s the line I think is interesting:
“We believe that the Bank’s duty to the people of this country requires such a difficult choice to be made, but it will not change our commitment to the goals of countering climate change.
Deforestation is the second major cause of climate change, and a joint investigation by the Guardian, Greenpeace’s Unearthed and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, UK banks and financial institutions have provided more than $2bn US (£1.5bn) in financial backing in recent years to Brazilian beef companies linked to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.
That eye raising headline from The Guardian was based on reports that the value of fossil fuel reserves might fall by as much as two-thirds as the covid crisis has hastened the peak for oil, coal, and gas demand.
Earlier in May our partner People & Planet’s Divest Barclays campaign held a webinar ahead of the Barclays’ AGM on why they are taking the fight for climate justice to the doorstep of the big banks.
Today at Barclays’ AGM, an incredible 24% of shareholders voted for ShareAction’s resolution asking the bank to phase out financing for fossil fuels and utility companies that are not aligned with the Paris climate goals.
Today, a group of organisations – 350.org, Platform London, People & Planet and The Sunrise Project – launched “Funding Climate Chaos“, a new report highlighting the role of UK banks in funding the climate crisis, focusing on Barclays and HSBC and referencing data from the Banking on Climate Change report.
Our friends at Share Action did the hard work to unpack what Barclays’ new fancy sounding “Net Zero” fossil policy really means. TLDR: it talks a good game, but punts most material action on fossil fuel investing 30 years into the future.
This is some of what Adrienne Buller, an economist and research fellow at the Common Wealth think tank, had to say:
Last week, a leaked JP Morgan report acknowledged that, in a world of accelerating temperature rise, “we cannot rule out catastrophic outcomes where human life as we know it is threatened”.
Nearly 100 Barclays high street branches were shut down to protest against bank’s continued multi-billion dollar support for fossil fuels.
In the early hours of the morning, Barclays branches in every UK region and cities from Portsmouth to Dundee were rendered out of action by Greenpeace activists who disabled the doors preventing staff from entering.