Barclays to continue funding high carbon infrastructure – Greenpeace response

Greenpeace delivers a message to Barclays’ Bank in response to decision to continue tar sands investments


London. Today Barclays released a new policy[1] which indicates it will continue to fund tar sands infrastructure including pipelines. In doing so Barclays lags behind peers such as HSBC and BNP Paribas[2,3].

Reacting to the new policy, Greenpeace UK oil campaigner Hannah Martin said

“As it was with apartheid, so it is with climate change: Barclays is on the wrong side of history. By continuing to fund tar sands pipelines, Barclays is once again choosing short-term profit over human rights and the wishes of a small number of corporate clients over those of tens of thousands of its customers.

“It shows either staggering ignorance or reckless disregard that Barclays has taken so long to deliver so little on climate change. Its dismal failure to keep pace with other major banks in dumping toxic tar sands pipelines, together with its inadequate position on coal, is the clearest indication yet that Barclays simply doesn’t get it when it comes to the risks the bank and the planet face from climate change.

“In failing to exclude all financing to tar sands pipelines, and companies that continue to develop a significant number of coal plans around the world, Barclays’ make a mockery of their claims to take climate change seriously. The pressure on them will only increase.”



Greenpeace UK Press Office – or 020 7865 8255


1. Barclays new policy is published here –

2. BNP Paribas In October 2017 announced a decision to no longer finance “pipelines that primarily carry oil and gas from shale and/or oil from tar sands,” and will sever “business relations with companies that derive the majority of their revenue from these activities.” Dutch bank ING confirmed in June that its oil sands policy excludes financing tar sands pipelines. Sweden’s largest pension fund, AP7, announced that it will divest from TransCanada on the grounds that its proposed pipelines in Canada and the US were incompatible with the Paris Agreement. In December 2017 Natixis pledged to no longer fund “exploration and production projects concerning oil extracted from tar sands; infrastructure projects (pipelines, terminals and others) primarily devoted to transporting or exporting oil extracted from tar sands or companies whose business primarily relies on exploiting oil extracted from tar sands”, and insurance and investment giant Axa announced the “divestment of over Euro 700 million from the main oil sands producers and associated pipelines, and the discontinuation of further investments in these businesses” and no longer providing insurance to tar sands or associated pipeline businesses.

3. Greenpeace has published a report for banks and their shareholders outlining the financial and reputation risks that banks could face in arranging and providing finance for companies intending to build tar sands pipelines. See Figure 1 on page 3 for estimated additional greenhouse gas emissions per year resulting from proposed tar sands pipelines

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