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Barclays to be Net Zero Bank by 2050

Published April 16, 2020

Barclays to be Net Zero Bank by 2050

Barclays has become the first large British bank to set out plans to bring carbon emissions down to net zero by 2050.  

The bank also commits to align its financing activities with goals and deadlines set by the Paris Agreement. 

Starting with the energy and power sector, the alignment of Barclays’ portfolio with the Agreement will eventually cover all sectors.  

Barclays will provide targets which it can be held accountable for. It will report against these targets from 2021.  

According to the Guardian, the commitment was made in response to a separate shareholder resolution urging the bank to phase out all lending and services to energy and fossil fuel companies that fail to align with Paris climate goals. 

The Board will propose the move at the next AGM on 7 May. This will be the beginning of further stakeholder engagement over the coming months 

The Guardian points out that Barclays has been the top European financier of fossil fuels in the last four years and is the seventh largest globally, according to a recent report by the Rainforest Action Network.  

News website Insider reports that Barclays’ commitment will cover not only Scope 1 and 2 emissions, but also those from Scope 3, the activities it finances. Greenpeace, on the other hand, said that without targets, the resolution was ‘absolutely meaningless’. Barclays, it said,  “has just issued an updated energy policy, in which it says it will continue to finance tar sands and fracking.”