Barclays will no longer directly fund new oil and gas fields

Barclays has declared that it will not be financing new oil and gas projects directly going forward. The massive banking institution has said that it will limit loans to energy companies that want to increase their output of fossil fuels. Although Barclays is a significant lender to the fossil fuel industry, pressure to reduce its backing for the sector has been building. Although they praised the action, campaign organizations said it did not go far enough. As to a report published by the environmental organization Rainforest Action Network, Barclays emerged as the primary financier of the fossil fuel industry in Europe from 2016 to 2021.

 

It contributed somewhat less than $16.5 billion (£13 billion) in 2022, albeit much less than in prior years. In both 2019 and 2020, the amount exceeded $30 billion. Nevertheless, shareholder groups, environmentalists, and even celebrities have put pressure on the bank to reduce its support. A number of celebrities, including Emma Thompson and Richard Curtis, demanded last year that Barclays be dropped as a Wimbledon sponsor from the All England Lawn Tennis Club. That the bank was “profiting from climate chaos” was their charge.

 

Barclays said in a “Climate Change Statement” that it will no longer directly sponsor initiatives aimed at increasing the production of oil and gas or the infrastructure that supports them. It further said that it would stop providing direct funding for any gas and oil projects that involved the extraction, processing, or transportation of oil from oil sands, as well as those in the Arctic Circle and the Amazon. However, the amount of money Barclays lends to the industry overall only includes direct investment for particular initiatives. Restrictions on new financing for energy firms themselves will also persist, the bank added, albeit they will apply more strictly to new clients than to current ones.

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