Mar 30, 2020

Barclays targets net zero carbon emissions by 2050

Barclays, the largest financier of fossil fuels in Europe, has become the first big British bank to target net zero carbon emissions by 2050, following a pressure campaign from shareholders and activists. Barclays' board will put the 2050 carbon emissions "Ambition" to a vote at its annual meeting on May 7. Critics of the proposal said that it is a watered-down version of a separate, more robust, resolution that is already on the table at the AGM and includes firm targets from a group of influential shareholders concerned Barclays was not doing enough to combat climate change. In January, 11 big investors and more than 100 retail shareholders filed a resolution calling on Barclays to phase out financing companies in the energy sector, as well as gas and electric utilities, that are not aligned with the Paris climate agreement. "Investors should note that the UK government has already enshrined a commitment to net-zero by 2050 in law and that Barclays is merely repeating undertakings it has made under the Principles for Responsible Banking."

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