Barclays targets net-zero in operations and lending - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, GHG Emissions, Finance  -  March 31, 2020

Barclays targets net-zero in operations and lending recipients

Barclays announced March 30 a target to reach net-zero carbon emissions in both its own activities and the activities it finances by 2050 after facing pressure to do so from a group of investors.

The British banking institution intended for the target to be in line with the Paris Agreement. They intend to start releasing progress reports to stakeholders regularly starting in 2021 and will work with investors on a strategy to achieve this target, Reuters reported. In January, campaign group ShareAction filed a resolution urging the bank to phase out their lending toward fossil fuel activities. Barclays did not fully complete that request, but this week’s announcement represents a move in that direction.

According to Reuters, the bank has not yet released details on how they intend to deliver these targets. Critics have emphasized the importance of focusing on phasing out fossil fuel financing, rather than just limiting the emissions associated with their own operations.

“A climate strategy cannot be considered complete without recognizing that transition necessarily means phase-out when it comes to fossil fuels, particularly the highest carbon fuels where Barclays has significant exposure,” Wolfgang Kuhn, ShareAction’s Director of Finance Sector Strategies, told the news site.

Reuters also reported that Barclays is seventh in a list of financial lenders to the fossil fuel industry, totaling $120 billion lent between 2016 and 2019. By aligning their business practices with the Paris Agreement, Barclays would have to reduce or eliminate financial lending to the fossil fuel industry.

Tags: Barclays
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