Barclays AGM hit by climate protests

Barclays’ annual general meeting has been hit by climate protesters angry at the lender’s financing of fossil fuel projects.

A group from People & Planet – which describes itself as a student network campaigning on world poverty, human rights and the environment – interrupted chief executive Jes Staley’s speech, calling for Barclays to “tell the truth”.

Demonstrators linked arms and shouted: “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now.”

It came a day after a group of Barclays investors wrote a letter urging the bank to stop funding companies involved in coal mining and oil sands exploitation.

The letter was written by the likes of Hermes EOS, Edentree, Boston Common and Sarasin & Partners as part of a campaign organised by ShareAction.

It marks the latest in a series of climate protests in London, most of which were spearheaded by Extinction Rebellion.

Protesters were removed from the venue in Westminster by police and security personnel.

Mr Staley said in his speech to investors: “Barclays is determined to do what we can to support the transition to a low-carbon economy, while also ensuring that global energy needs continue to be met.

“We are already doing a considerable amount to support that transition to a low-carbon economy.

“We have ruled out financing oil or gas exploration in the Arctic, we no longer finance greenfield thermal coal-mining activity, and we have introduced new enhanced checks on all transactions related to the exploration, extraction, transportation or processing of oil sands output.”

He added that Barclays has established a taskforce to consider and act on the environmental and social impact of the company.

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