Nest, the UK’s largest pension fund with 8.5m members, has called on Barclays to present a “clear and robust plan” to phase out financing of fossil fuels. The UK state-backed retirement scheme said it would support a landmark climate change resolution that will go to a vote at Barclays’ annual meeting in May. The proposal, which was filed by 11 shareholders with a combined £130bn in assets, asked the bank to stop financing energy companies that are not aligned with the Paris Agreement to tackle global temperature rises. Barclays ranks as the world’s sixth-largest backer of fossil fuels and the largest financier of fossil fuel of any European bank, exceeding its peers by $27bn. The resolution is also being backed by the Church of England Pensions Board, which oversees the £2.8bn retirement pots of Anglican clergy, and EdenTree Investment Management, a sustainable asset manager.
FT 23rd Feb 2020 read more »
With every flood, public anger over the climate crisis is surging. These storms have gone beyond the point of simply being storms now, each blurring into the next to create a strangely end-of-days feeling. Everything is freakishly sodden and swollen, and while the rural flood plain on which I live fortunately hasn’t flooded anything like as badly as some, the rivers are rising alarmingly. Yet still the lashing winds and biblical downpours keep coming. Suddenly the 40 Days of Action campaign that Extinction Rebellion (XR) will launch on Ash Wednesday (26 February), encouraging people to reflect on the environmental consequences of their actions in a kind of green Lent, feels ominously well named. It may sound ridiculous to their parents’ generation, for whom energy companies were the ones keeping the lights on, but even those with no such qualms must wonder if there’s much future with fossil fuel companies – squeezed between the political rock of legal commitments to hit zero emissions by 2050 and a public hard place that gets harder with every flood or bush fire. Better to move fast than wait for activists to dig up your lawn; better to act now, before the river of public anger bursts its banks.
Guardian 22nd Feb 2020 read more »