Barclays bank to stop financing new oil, gas projects

BRITISH financial institution Barclays mentioned on Friday (Feb 9) it could cease instantly financing its power purchasers’ new oil and fuel tasks, however nonetheless bumped into fierce criticism from campaigners who mentioned the strikes don’t far sufficient.

As a part of its up to date local weather technique, the financial institution added it could cut back lending for present fossil gasoline tasks because the sector faces intense strain from activist traders to assist deal with local weather change.

“Barclays today publishes a revised Climate Change Statement to progress its climate strategy and continues its focus on clients actively engaged in the energy transition,” it mentioned.

There shall be “no project finance, or other direct finance to energy clients, for upstream oil and gas expansion projects or related infrastructure”, the lender added.

Barclays will even impose “restrictions for new and non-diversified oil and gas clients engaged in expansion”.

Additional curbs shall be launched “on unconventional oil and gas, including… extra heavy oil”.

Barclays additionally expects “energy clients to produce transition plans or decarbonisation strategies” by 2025.

And it is going to require power purchasers to decide to different targets, together with the discount of methane and carbon emissions from operations.

Reclaim Finance, a non-governmental organisation focussed on the sector, mentioned Barclays’ plans fell far brief.

“It is good to see that Barclays’ new policy includes some relevant elements, notably reducing methane leakage and the adoption of transition plans by 2025,” mentioned Reclaim Finance director Lucie Pinson.

“But ultimately the British bank has once again failed to address the most urgent issue of halting oil and gas expansion. Barclays pretends to want to tackle this issue, but will continue to finance diversified companies in the oil and gas sector that are already customers.”

Barclays is Europe’s greatest financier of fossil fuels, in response to information cited by Reclaim Finance.

Make My Money Matter, an organisation campaigning for moral investments, additionally slammed Friday’s information.

“Barclays announcement is inadequate in scope and in ambition,” mentioned Tony Burdon, chief govt of Make My Money Matter.

“While they finally caught up with other major European banks like Lloyds by ruling out direct project finance for fossil fuels, the reality is this covers just a fraction of their oil and gas lending.”

And Fossil Free London was additionally extremely essential.

“Barclays is failing to show genuine leadership with this new energy policy,” mentioned the NGO’s spokesperson Joanna Warrington.

“This leaves the door wide open to continue financing billions to Shell, ExxonMobil, and TotalEnergies – those most aggressively developing new fossil fuels.”

The British lender’s transfer to curb financing of oil and fuel tasks follows comparable bulletins from European financial institution heavyweights BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, HSBC, ING and Societe Generale.

Barclays had introduced in March 2020 that it needed to develop into a “net zero bank” by 2050. AFP