Statements from Barclays make the bank sound greener and greener - but the facts tell a different story
In the words of the UN Secretary-General, “the gates to hell” have already been opened by ever-increasing CO2 emissions, and to avoid a catastrophic future, we must tackle not only fossil fuel companies but their enablers who “continue to invest and underwrite carbon pollution.” To have a fighting chance of a liveable world, emissions need to be 45% lower in 2030 compared with 2010 - but instead they are on track to be 9% higher. Energy companies have little to no plans to reduce emissions but instead are investing billions in expanding oil and gas reserves, where they make more profit than in renewables - and unlike other European banks, Barclays is still happy to finance them to do so.
However, whether on its website, in its annual Environmental Social Governance Report, via its Statements and policy positions, or elsewhere, Barclays misses no opportunity to present itself as a bank making strenuous efforts to help tackle climate change and ecosystem destruction. Under scrutiny, the claims begin to appear misleading, as shown in some examples below. (You can find similar information for other organisations at www.greenwash.earth/.)