Barclays banks on becoming net zero by 2050

01 April 2020 by Grace Coleman
blog author

Barclays has unveiled ambitious plans to become net zero by 2050 and will target at least £100bn of green financing by 2030.

The British bank has pledged to build new tools to map the portfolio’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to the Paris Agreement trajectory, which aims to keep the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

This will be based on the International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario, which outlines a major transformation of the global energy system required to make the transition to a low-carbon economy. The tools will study the absolute carbon emissions and carbon intensity of activities financed by Barclays.

The International Energy Agency’s Sustainable Development Scenario meets all of the conditions required for the world to be net-zero in the second half of this century and the net zero target will come from the bank’s own activities (Scopes 1 and 2 under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol), as well as from activities it finances (Scope 3).

Barclays, which forms part of the core group of 30 founding banks of the Principles for Responsible Banking in 2019, has said it will invest £175m over the next five years in environmental innovation through a new Sustainable Impact Capital Initiative.

It will aim to encompass all sectors within its client portfolio, starting with energy and power and has claimed it will impose further restrictions on fossil fuel financing.

From 2021 the bank will provide and regularly report on transparent targets in order to judge progress.

Nigel Higgins, Barclays’ chairman, said: “Our new ambition to be net zero, and our commitment to aligning our financing portfolio across all sectors to the goals of the Paris Agreement, will mean we can play much more of a leading role in meeting the climate challenge and in financing energy transition.

“Ours is a clear and implementable strategy and will be backed up with specific targets and regular reporting to ensure we implement it.

“I would like to thank all of our stakeholders who have engaged with us so constructively since the autumn of last year on our shared goal of tackling climate change.”