LGPS duo urge Barclays to firm up climate pledges

June, 2020 Print

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Two local government pension scheme investors have announced plans to back a shareholder resolution aimed at forcing Barclays to align with the Paris Climate Change Agreement.

Brunel Pension Partnership and Merseyside Pension Fund will vote in favour of a resolution put forward by ShareAction calling for the lender to set and disclose targets to phase out its financing of fossil fuel companies within the energy and power sector that are not aligned with the goals of the Paris climate agreement.

It further encourages the bank to consider the just transition when developing phase-out targets to consider the social implications of the transition to a low-carbon economy.

While Barclays’ own resolution sets out an overarching 2050 net zero carbon ambition encompassing financing across all sectors, the ShareAction resolution ensures a greater focus on short- and medium-term actions needed to achieve that long-term goal, the LGPS investors said.

Councillor Pat Cleary, Chair of Merseyside Pension Fund said, “We are supporting resolutions 29 and 30 at the Barclays AGM to hold the company accountable for following through on its declared climate ambition.”

“We see the two resolutions as being complementary. Near-term target setting aligned to the Paris goals can provide necessary clarity, which may be to the benefit of all Barclays’ stakeholders,” he added.

The LGPS investors also questioned the transparency of Barclays’ planned virtual AGM, which would not enable investors to ask questions on the day. Whilst questions can be submitted in advance, the “appropriateness” and response will be determined by Barclays.

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