Reacting to the news that 14% of Barclays shareholders voted for the Market Forces shareholder resolution calling on the bank to phase out funding for fossil fuels (with a further 12% abstaining on Barclays’ management’s recommendation to vote against), Adam McGibbon, UK Campaign Lead at Market Forces, said:
Today’s result is a major concern, as after last year’s strong investor vote for greater climate action, Barclays financed another US$27 billion to fossil fuels in 2020, increased funding for fracking, tar sands and arctic oil by 32% in the same time period, and remains the biggest UK funder of the global coal industry. If Barclays has genuinely climate-concerned investors, shareholder votes for greater climate action should only be increasing.
Barclays’ institutional investors have some serious questions to answer about their commitment to climate change action. Having seen Barclays’ climate policies fail to reign in its investments in fossil fuels in the last year, to have investor support for climate change action drop this year compared to 2020 smacks of either indifference or incompetence from many major investors.
There is a healthy group of investors who see past Barclays’ greenwash, who will need to work hard over the next year to convince their colleagues to demand stronger climate action from the bank.
- Adam’s speech during the AGM in favour of the resolution is available here.
- The details of the resolution, including text and supporting statement, are here. Investor briefing is here. The resolution was coordinated by Market Forces and 100+ individual investors, including a former Vice President of Bank of America, a Church of England vicar and two former MPs.
- Market Forces campaigns for financial institutions that have custody of our money to protect not damage our environment. www.marketforces.org.uk