LONDON: British bank Barclays said on Friday it would stop directly financing its energy clients’ new oil and gas projects, but still ran into fierce criticism from campaigners who said the moves don’t far enough.
As part of its updated climate strategy, the bank added it would scale back lending for existing fossil fuel projects as the sector faces intense pressure from activist investors to help tackle climate change.
“Barclays today publishes a revised Climate Change Statement to progress its climate strategy and continues its focus on clients actively engaged in the energy transition,” it said in a statement.
There will be “no project finance, or other direct finance to energy clients, for upstream oil and gas expansion projects or related infrastructure”, the lender added. Barclays will also impose “restrictions for new and non-diversified oil and gas clients engaged in expansion”. Additional curbs will be introduced “on unconventional oil and gas, including… extra heavy oil”.
Barclays also expects “energy clients to produce transition plans or decarbonisation strategies” by 2025.