When a huge financial institution like Barclays is pouring money into fossil fuels, it's easy to feel powerless. Can individuals help change anything?
Yes. Barclays has a long and somewhat questionable history, including substantial connections with South Africa's apartheid regime such as purchase of defence bonds and a Barclays director on the government-appointed defence advisory board . But anti-apartheid campaigning to turn Barclays into a pariah, including encouraging account closures, led to a huge drop in the number of student accounts (a key barometer of future income), as well as other account closures including 15 local government authorities . Barclays withdrew from South Africa in 1986, professedly for commercial reasons, but citing the growing pressure to do so.
You can be part of putting pressure on Barclays today to stop financing climate devasation, even if you don't have any Barclays accounts or investments.