Barclays labeled “Worst bank in Europe”

A poll commissioned by campaign group 38 Degrees and shared exclusively with The Independent, called Barclays “Europe’s worst bank” for its fossil fuel financing.

The views, expressed in the report, were echoed by protesters who gathered outside the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) today, Wednesday May 4.and. Protesters, including the notorious Extinction Rebellion, demanded the bank stop funding fossil fuel businesses and projects.

According to The Independent, 38 Degrees found that 26% of bank customers would most likely move their accounts if the company did not take more ambitious action on climate change.

Barclays said it aims to reduce funded emissions in the energy, power, cement and steel sectors by the end of 2030, including reducing total energy emissions by 40% of scopes 1, 2 and 3. The bank also aims to stop financing new customers engaged in thermal coal mining by 2023 and not finance existing customers who generate more than 30% of revenues. thermal coal mining.

Not all customers are convinced and many would like to see the bank go much further.

A 38 Degrees customer and support said: “It’s all very well for the bosses of Barclays to sit there and look at their balance sheets at the end of the year and see how much money they’re making, but, Unless they start balancing their books with the environmental destruction their investments are causing, I will close my account.”

Disruption of UK bank general meetings affected by Standard Chartered on Wednesday May 4andHSBC on Friday April 29and.

Barclays, according to the latest fossil fuel financing reportfound that Barclays is “the worst” bank in Europe for financing fossil fuels in the six years since the adoption of the Paris agreement in 2015.

According to the Fossil Fuel Financing Report, produced by Rainforest Action Network and other groups, Barclays financed fossil fuels with $167 billion (€157 billion) between 2016 and 2021 and is the 7th “worst” bank in the world for financing fossil fuels.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, referring to the last chapter of the report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said: “It’s a record of shame, cataloging the empty pledges that put us firmly on the path to an unlivable world.”

He added: “We are on the fast track to climate catastrophe.”

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Mary I. Bruner