As part of an initiative by ShareAction, we have joined a group of shareholders to ask Barclays Bank to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies that are active agents in driving the climate crisis.
This resolution – the first climate change resolution filed at a European bank – also requests that Barclays consider the social dimension of the transition to a resilient and low-carbon economy, as per the Paris Agreement.
Natasha Landell-Mills commented:
As Sarasin’s Head of Stewardship Natasha Landell-Mills comments, “Aligning financial flows with the goal of keeping temperature increases well below 2C, and preferably to 1.5C, was hard-wired into the Paris Climate Agreement for good reason. Continued financing of harmful fossil fuel activities puts this target at risk, with potentially devastating consequences for us all. And yet, this is precisely what is happening today, and Barclays is amongst the most prolific bank financiers globally of such activities.It is therefore vital that Barclays’ Board ensures that it no longer supports – whether through direct lending or underwriting – any activities that run contrary to the Paris Agreement. Failure to act leaves directors open to charges that they have failed to meet their obligations under the UK Companies Act. It also exposes the bank and its shareholders to heightened capital risks as decarbonisation accelerates. At a time of economic uncertainty, the Board should not be taking on additional risks.”