Barclays is one of the most popular UK high street banks serving around 24 million British customers and a further 24 million globally.

Official Policy

In line with its “commitment to play a leading role in the transition towards a sustainable environment and low carbon global economy”, Barclays does offer a range of ‘green’ products, including everyday mortgages for energy efficient new-build properties.

In total “Barclays delivered £31.7bn in financing for specific social and environmental segments” in 2017. [Barclays PLC Strategic Report 2017]

Continued funding of coal projects

Barclays has a’ strong and longstanding commitment to managing the environmental and social risks associated with lending and other types of financial services’. Yet Barclays is still funding coal. They recently released a statement excluding some types of finance for thermal coal mining and power plants. Barclays exclude clients with majority revenues or power generation deriving from coal.

In their April 2019 climate change report, Barclays made no commitments to reduce either oil or gas financing whether through clients or specific projects.

Key Projects

Barclays continues to be implicated in fossil fuels through investment in energy plants and infrastructure. Such projects have a huge environmental impact in addition to often being detrimental to indigenous communities.

Investment in fossil fuel infrastructure

  • A corporate loan of USD 20 million in May 2016 for the Annova LNG Terminal in the United States. This project poses threats to the wetland environment as well as the health and economic security of the local residents. See our case study of this project here.
  • Two loans of USD 340 million (January 2015) and USD 308 million (November 2016) to energy companies involved in the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project. The project is being heavily criticised for its location in indigenous territory.
  • A loan of CAD 315 million in May 2017 to the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, with the aim to triple the systems’ oil transport capacity.

Implication in human rights violations

In 2013 Barclays backed Anglo American, NHP Billiton and Glencore to the tune of $3.5 billion. These companies are involved in the Columbian mining sector which is notorious for human rights abuses with workers’ health suffering due to the poor working conditions at the mine. Industrial action by the workers has been met with dismissals and the murder of union leaders.

Email to CEO

Dear Barclays,

I have been a Barclays customer for …. years now. [If you want you can include specific services such as current account, savings, mortgage that you currently have with them .]

However, I am switching banks because of your continued investment in fossil fuel projects such as the Annova LNG Terminal, the Atlantic Coast Pipeline project and the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project. I recognise that Barclays has committed itself to reducing funding to coal, but I think that this is not enough.

I would be delighted to return once you align your lending practices with the Paris Agreement target

[You can also mention any other lending or projects that you don’t agree with.]

Best wishes,