Eleven institutional traders have filed a resolution to be voted on at Barclays’ annual meeting, ordering the bank to lay out plans to stop providing all monetary services to companies not aligned with the Paris climate settlement.
The pressure on Barclays comes at a time when shareholders, prompted by activists and mounting public concern, are more and more urging the businesses they invest in to do extra to combat the climate crisis.
To this point, investors have largely focused their collective efforts on giant oil and gas firms responsible for producing fossil fuels, with resolutions at firms along with Royal Dutch Shell, BP, and Equinor.
The Barclays decision will mark the first time a European bank has witnessed such shareholder action on fossil fuel financing.
It calls on Barclays to go further than its previous public committals to fight climate change by forcing it to set certain goals.
The transfer comes just days after the outgoing Bank of England governor Mark Carney said the monetary services sector had been too sluggish to cut funding in fossil fuels.
Carney is set to leave the BoE by January- end to take up a role as the UN’s special envoy for climate action. He has previously warned that global warming might result in a sharp reassessment of the worth of each financial asset.
The eleven traders publicly supporting the Barclays resolution collectively manage some 130 billion pounds ($171.39 billion) and embody Brunel Pension Partnership, LGPS Central, Sarasin & Partners, and Folksam.