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Shareholders pressure Barclays again on fossil fuels

For the second year running, a group of over 100 Barclays shareholders has filed a resolution calling for the bank to take stronger action to tackle its financing of fossil fuels. Despite the board’s formal opposition to a similar resolution from a group led by ShareAction last year, nearly a quarter of shareholders supported it. With increasing public concern about the climate crisis, and the UK soon to host COP26, challenges of this kind draw significant national attention, adding to the pressure on banks to reform. Already this year, HSBC has committed to end coal financing rather than risk defeat by shareholders. Despite a professed commitment to Paris-compliance, the facts about Barclays’ activities tell a very different story. Without significant change, the board may have an uncomfortable AGM in store.