Last month UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned that (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-52370221), despite the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the world mustn’t forget the “deeper environmental emergency” facing the planet as a result of climate change. It’s currently unclear what the long-term impact of the pandemic will be on the oil and gas industries, with some analysts speculating (https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/01/the-fossil-fuel-industry-is-broken-will-a-cleaner-climate-be-the-result) that it may hasten these companies’ inevitable demise. Whatever happens, however, Divest East Sussex will be resuming its campaign to divest the East Sussex Pension Fund from fossil fuels as soon as this becomes feasible and appropriate.
In the meantime …
This Thursday 7 May, Barclays bank – the sixth largest backer of fossil fuels in the world – will be holding its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in London. A shareholders’ resolution has been tabled, calling on Barclays to phase out its funding for fossil fuels.
Here are three actions you can take to help put pressure on Barclays to stop funding fossil fuels:
> sign the change.org petition (https://www.change.org/p/barclays-barclays-stop-funding-fossil-fuels) calling on Barclays to stop funding fossil fuels;
> email Barclays company secretary today (details below);
> help strengthen the voice of those who’ve tabled the resolution by being part of the social media storm at 11am on Thursday 7 May (details below)
Our friends in Lewes XR have sent us the following information:
BARCLAYS AGM ACTION 2020
Let’s tell Barclays and their shareholders that fossil fuel is dead!
Carbon emissions must start declining steeply now if we are to stand a chance of avoiding catastrophic climate breakdown. Yet Barclays has invested £70 billion in fossil fuels and carbon intensive companies since the Paris Accord was signed in 2015 – and they show no signs of stopping. Just to add to the madness, it makes no sense financially. Oil prices are volatile and no longer a safe investment for shareholders.
This action will start now, culminating with a swarm of Barclays’ social media on Thursday 7th May, 11am, the day of the AGM.
This action will be aimed at shareholders, big business investors and Barclays, as these are the people who will either be voting at the AGM or will know people who are.
Barclays have said they will go net zero by 2050, but given no commitment to stop fossil fuel investment. In January, an influential group of Barclays shareholders, represented by ShareAction, tabled a motion to phase out all fossil fuel investments. This will be on the table at the AGM on Thursday 7th May. Let’s strengthen their voice and tell other shareholders to follow them!
Help raise a social media storm! At 11am on Thursday 7th May, comment, post and share, then comment and share again!
Suggested hashtags: #dontbankonbarclays #nomoneyinoil #fossilfuelisdead #FossilBanksNoThanks #LeaveItInTheGround
You can also email the company secretary – firstname.lastname@example.org
Suggested text – feel free to amend as you like, or of course you can write your own message:
I was pleased to see that Barclays has announced a commitment to go net zero for carbon emissions. However, it’s very troubling that you have given no commitment to phase out investment in fossil fuels. The science is clear – to avoid catastrophic global heating, what we do over the next five years is crucial. Drastic action is needed. I urge the Barclays board to show leadership on this issue. Tell the world that you’re serious about tackling the climate emergency, and this isn’t just a piece of corporate greenwashing. Give a clear, timebound commitment to phase out fossil fuels.
Killer Facts: Feel free to use these, or source your own facts to highlight the many ways that Barclays are putting our future at risk.
– 33 global banks (including Barclays) have provided $1.9 trillion to fossil fuel companies since the adoption of the Paris climate accord (PCA) in 2015.
– Bank financing for fossil fuels has increased each year since the PCA.
– Over the past three years those same banks provided financial services worth $600 billion to the 100 companies with the largest investments forecast in new fossil fuel extraction, infrastructure, and power generation.
– Barclays are 6th worst in the world of banks investing in fossil fuel since the PCA.
– Barclays are the top European banker of fracking and coal, and lead as the worst European bank for fossil fuel investment.
– Barclays have invested $85 billion (£70b) in fossil fuels and $24 billion (£20b) into expansion since the PCA in 2015.
Extra info and links to interesting articles:
– Guardian article from Feb 2020 – https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/feb/05/barclays-bank-revolt-investor-forum-fossil-fuels-climate
– DIVEST Action group web site – https://peopleandplanet.org/divest-barclays
– Article in energy voice about Greenpeace action – https://www.energyvoice.com/other-news/225869/greenpeace-target-barclays-branches-over-oil-and-gas-support/
– Barclays voting recommendation published March 2020 – https://home.barclays/content/dam/home-barclays/documents/investor-relations/reports-and-events/AGM2019/NOM-2019.PDF
– Article in the Independent from Jan 2020 – https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/barclays-bank-shareholder-climate-change-resolution-fossil-fuels-a9275926.html
– Loads of good stuff – https://www.banktrack.org/
– Share Action on Barclays: https://shareaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Barclays-Energy-Policy.pdf
– Good detailed report – https://www.ran.org/bankingonclimatechange2020/
– The geographical distribution of fossil fuels unused when limiting global warming to 2 °c – https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14016
– The majority of fossil fuel reserves are unburnable if the world is to avoid dangerous climate change – https://www.carbonbrief.org/study-most-fossil-fuels-unburnable-without-ccs
– Meeting two degree climate target means 80 per cent of world’s coal is “unburnable”, study says –https://www.carbonbrief.org/meeting-two-degree-climate-target-means-80-per-cent-of-worlds-coal-is-unburnable-study-says