The largest lender to oil and gas production, Barclays Bank, will stop financing the industry at the request of environmentalists. The BBC writes about this.
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According to a report by environmental group Rainforest Action Network, Barclays was the largest funder of the fossil fuel sector in Europe between 2016 and 2021. In 2022, the bank provided approximately $16.5 billion in financing to the sector. In 2019 and 2020, this figure amounted to more than $30 billion.
In its Climate Change Statement, Barclays announced that it will no longer provide direct financing to projects aimed at expanding oil and gas production or the infrastructure associated with such projects. There will also be limits on new financing for energy companies.
The plan is not entirely focused on oil and gas. Lending related to coal mining and coal-fired power generation will also be limited.
The bank is coming under pressure from environmentalists, shareholder activists and even celebrities. Last year, a group of campaigners including actress Emma Thompson and film director Richard Curtis called on the All England Lawn Tennis Club to remove Barclays as a Wimbledon sponsor. They said the bank was “profiting from climate chaos.”
Barclays is not the first bank in Europe to abandon mining lending. HSBC, Lloyds, BNP Paribas, Societe Generale and Credit Agricole have previously announced restrictions on fossil fuel financing.
Barclays noted that oil and gas financing represents a very small part of the bank's overall activities.