Reclaim Finance
The AGM season of British financial players opened with Barclays, Europe’s largest financier of coal and fossil fuels. For the second successive year, the bank came under pressure from shareholders asking it to go much further and faster on climate. In 2020, Barclays reacted by committing to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This year, immediate measures envisaging a reduction in financing to fossil fuels are expected.
Given that we have only nine years left to drastically reduce our emissions, adopting long-term net zero commitments is not enough to respond to the climate emergency. According to our new report published yesterday (see below), all UK banks and most investors have pledged to achieve net-zero by 2050 but none of them have pledged to end support to coal developers. This is in stark contrast with the situation in France where robust coal exit policies outnumber net-zero 2050 commitments.
Adopting a robust coal phase-out policy has become the litmus test for assessing how serious and sincere financial institutions are about contributing to the biggest fight humanity has ever faced. With COP26 looming, it’s high time UK financial institutions caught up with best practices and demonstrated climate leadership. A failure to deliver will not only undermine their climate credibility, it will also make them easy targets for the climate movement on the way to Glasgow.
Lucie Pinson
Founder and Executive Director, Reclaim Finance
Over five years after the Paris Agreement, the UK financial sector is actively undermining Government efforts to phase out coal. UK banks provided $56 billion of support to coal companies between October 2018 and October 2020. Investors led by Legal & General (L&G) likewise held $47bn in coal companies in January 2021. Worse still, the report unveils widespread support for companies planning on expanding coal among UK banks and investors.
Read our report
Reclaim Finance and 3 partners have published their first edition of a scorecard on 29 major asset managers. European & US asset managers are ignoring their climate responsibility, with only 25% of their assets covered by coal exclusions.
Read our report
Created in 2017, the Powering Past Coal Alliance intends to promote the exit from coal. The problem is that most financial institutions members of the alliance continue to finance coal and even its development.
Read our report
Monthly selection
Responding to several MEPs regarding the ECB’s climate change policy, Christine Lagarde struggled to cover over the ECB’s inaction.
Greenpeace, ShareAction, Follow This, Reclaim Finance, ACCR and Oil Change International call investors to vote against Shell’s energy transition plan.
Following pressure from States and industry lobbies, the EU Taxonomy opens the door to polluting activities and allows the greenwashing it was supposed to prevent.
The NZBA: More Talk, Still No Action
In what might be best described as climate finance Groundhog Day, April saw the launch of the Net-Zero Banking Alliance and the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero.
Joining climate coalitions, hiring a new climate chief, and plastering its logo all over COP26 won't be enough for Natwest to be a climate leader.
Reclaim Finance and 8 other climate NGOs have written to Total’s shareholders, including prominent investors Axa and Amundi.
The latest policies
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