Barclays faces investor showdown over fracking finance

Thousands of members of the public are demanding that Barclays end its financial support for fracking firms, as the bank faces a showdown with investors today (Thursday).

At Barclays’ annual general meeting (AGM), a group of investors coordinated by ShareAction are demanding that Barclays impose restrictions on financing all companies that exclusively focus on fossil fuel extraction, including fracking in North America.

Among the investors who signed the letter are NEST, Cardano, the Church of England Pensions Board, Brunel Pension Partnership, Rathbones Group, Ethos Foundation, La Francaise Asset Management, and the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF). 

At the AGM, ShareAction – which campaigns for responsible investment – will hand in a petition on behalf of over 3,500 members of the public reiterating demands for Barclays to end fracking finance.

It will also share testimonials from residents from the town of New Freeport, Pennsylvania, who are living with the environmental and health effects of fracking.

Barclays amended its policy on fracking earlier this year, meaning it no longer directly finances firms that focus solely on oil and gas extraction. 

However, short-term extraction projects – which fracking projects typically are – are exempted from its commitment.

Shareholders say that the new policy fails to “meaningfully address the bank’s role as Europe’s largest financier of fracking”. They also highlight that Barclays’ pledge to restrict the financing of fracking extended only to Europe and the UK, leaving the majority of fracking clients, based in the US, unaffected.

Kelly Shields, campaign manager, ShareAction, said: “Investors, the public, and people whose lives have been impacted by fracking are making it clear to Barclays they must stop funding this damaging and dangerous fuel.

“It is now up to Barclays to close the loopholes in its energy policy, moving away from financing companies that exclusively work on extracting fossil fuels and especially fracking companies, which are putting people and the planet at risk.”

“Despite progress on its oil and gas policy, Barclays continues to leave the door open to pour millions into polluting fossil fuel finance, and particularly worryingly, fracking.”

Climate crisisPolicy

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