It’s not just activists who are taking aim at Barclays over its funding of massive fossil fuel companies destroying lives and wrecking the planet.
Today, celebrities including Emma Thompson, Vanessa Nakate, Mary Portas, and Lolly Adefope, as well as organisations like Greenpeace UK, are saying they have #ZeroLoveForBarclays. Coordinated by Make My Money Matter, they have written to Wimbledon calling on them to drop Barclays as their ‘official partner’. And an estimated 20 million UK adults agree they should!
SPOTTED ON THE TUBE!
Barclays is bankrolling climate collapse by pouring billions into dangerous fossil fuels… they should absolutely not be sponsoring the tennis.@Wimbledon, when will you be dropping @Barclays?#Barclays #defundclimatechaos #Wimbledon pic.twitter.com/WDlyocTT3X
— Fossil Free London (@fossilfreeLDN) June 30, 2023
Barclays, Europe’s worst funder of fossil fuels, is trying to launder its reputation which has taken a battering recently over funding of oil, gas, and coal. It benefits massively from buying sponsorship and having its name associated with a much-loved tournament attended by many wealthy potential customers. And that’s all for a measly £20 million a year for the deal, which is pocket money for Barclays.
But Barclays is a bank. It doesn’t care about tennis. It cares about making money.
The letter to the AELTC, which runs Wimbledon, says the partnership is misaligned with the tournament’s commitment to sustainability. AELTC’s membership of the UN Sports for Climate Action Framework means it pledges to ‘combat climate change through its partnerships’. Wimbledon has tried to minimise its climate impact in recent years.
However, its official partner Barclays is not playing ball, having provided over $190 billion to the fossil fuel industry since the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016. In the last two years alone, the bank has provided over $38 billion to oil and gas companies such as Shell, Exxon Mobil and Total Energies. That’s not very sustainable, now is it?
I’d obvs rather be tweeting a BBC story but important to highlight the need for sport to think very carefully about the partnerships / sponsorships they have, especially AELTC who so much good work, also crucial consumers know what their money is used forhttps://t.co/vFlmQH7HK1
— Dave Lockwood (@DaveyLockwood) July 3, 2023
In fronting the cash for these companies, Barclays is not only financing some of the world’s largest polluters, but also facilitating organisations that have committed massive human rights violations.
The bank has absolutely no policy restricting financing for new oil and gas, unlike some of its UK peers, despite clear guidance from the International Energy Agency, the UN and leading climate scientists that fossil fuel expansion cannot continue if we are to prevent the worst effects of climate change.
Richard Curtis, Founder of Make My Money Matter said: “With the great respect and love for Wimbledon – and all the magic from Billie Jean King to Andy Murray – the decision of the AELTC to partner with Barclays is a very bad line-call…It’s getting very late in the day to tackle the climate crisis – we’re at the semi-finals now – and so it’s time for Wimbledon to knock Barclays out of the competition by dropping them as a sponsor.”