Apologies for the format error that's about to occur due to how this platform operates, I have loads of info for why banking with Barclays does not fit with BU's ethos.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................BU Ethical Investment Policy says
"Companies engaged in controversial environmental activities, including fossil fuel extraction but seek opportunities to play a more active role in investing in low-carbon technologies. This is in support of BU’s Climate and Ecological Crisis Action Plan’
The Sustainability policy;
4.2 Bournemouth University recognises that its activities have an impact upon the environment at local, regional, national and global levels and acknowledges a responsibility for the protection of the environment and the health of its members and the community.
4.3 Sustainability is one of the key outcomes of BU2025 and will be delivered through the leadership and impact actions to enhance its position as a sustainable organisation and manage the environmental impact of its actions.
6.6 Implementing an ethical investment policy to ensure BU will not knowingly invest in companies whose activities include practices which directly pose a risk of serious harm to individuals or groups, or whose activities are inconsistent with the mission and values of the University
However Barclays is the largest individual provider of current accounts in the UK and the “worst banker of fossil fuels” in Europe.
Barclays has been Europe’s biggest investor in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement, according to the Banking on Climate Change report, providing 36% more finance than the next worst European banker (HSBC). From 2016-19 the company invested $118.1 billion. It is also the tenth biggest funder of fossil fuel expansion.
Funding Bangladesh’s coal expansion
Barclays has provided $USD 300 million for NTPC, the key initiator behind the Rampal Power Plant in Bangladesh, through bond underwriting. The power plant threatens the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, a vital carbon sink and has seen extensive protests in the country and around the world.
Until now, only 2.8% of Bangladesh’s energy has come from coal. Yet, the government plans to increase dependence on coal up to 37% over the next decade by establishing 29 new coal power plants.
According to Tonny Nowshin, a researcher at environmental and human rights organisation Urgewald and a degrowth activist from Bangladesh, the pollution from the power plant would cause low birth weight for 24,000 babies and pre-mature death for 6,000 people.
Barclays is supporting the Rampal Coal Power Plant in Bangladesh which threatens the world’s largest mangrove forest, Sundarbans, a vital carbon sink.
Without the financial support of Barclays the Rampal project could not go ahead. We can all see how climate change impacts are rapidly unfolding: it is not justifiable for any company to keep channelling money to such projects. https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/money-finance/whats-wrong-hsbc-barclays https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/money-finance/campaigning-against-barclays-rampal-coal-power-plant-bangladesh https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/projects/maitree-super-thermal-power-project/ https://www.ethicalconsumer.org/money-finance/banks-climate-change-environmental-crisis
Barclays Plc has emerged as the go-to bank for the world’s largest meat supplier after scandals at the company pushed Wall Street to the sidelines. JBS SA and its subsidiaries have sold at least four overseas bond deals totaling $2.75 billion since 2017, when the Brazilian powerhouse’s owners became embroiled in allegations of corruption. Barclays underwrote all of them. Read more at: https://www.bloombergquint.com/business/barclays-steps-in-as-jbs-scandal-drives-away-wall-street-banks
Violations of Indigenous rights
“I call on Colombia to implement the directives of its own Constitutional Court and to do more to protect the very vulnerable Wayúu community on the Provincial indigenous reserve against pollution from the huge El Cerrejón mine and from COVID-19,” said David Boyd, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=26306&LangID=E
The Cerrejón mine is the largest in Latin America. Its expansion over the last five decades has led to the destruction of whole villages populated by local indigenous and Afro-Colombian people.
The Banks Linked to this project are: Bank of Montreal (owns BMO Funds), Barclays, BNP Paribas (owns 25% of Impax Fund), Citigroup, HSBC, Deutsche Bank (owns 19% of ICICI), RBS (now NatWest Group), Santander.
BU’s Ethical Investment Policy and Procedures Policy states :
“Companies which are perceived to be engaged in any other controversial activities.”
I would think that the destruction of whole villages populated by local indigenous and Afro-Colombian people is a controversial activity
Bu’s Policy also states :
“Extra consideration should also be given to investments in any of the following areas: Companies engaged in controversial environmental activities, including fossil fuel extraction but seek opportunities to play a more active role in investing in low-carbon technologies. This is in support of BU’s Climate and Ecological Crisis Action Plan’”
Once again, given the fact that Barclays has been Europe’s biggest investor in fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement, according to the Banking on Climate Change report . And at its AGM in May 2020, over 75% of Barclays shareholders voted against a resolution to end the company’s investments in fossil fuels.
“Barclays’ policies allow the bank to continue financing highly carbon-intensive fossil fuels, such as tar sands and arctic oil and gas, as well as companies highly dependent on coal. A recent study identified Barclays as the largest European financier of fossil fuels and the sixth largest globally, with total financing amounting to USD 85.179 billion between 2015 and 2018.3”
Resolutions30 was not supported by the Board 2020 https://home.barclays/content/dam/home-barclays/documents/investor-relations/reports-and-events/AGM2019/NOM-2019.PDF
30. To promote the long-term success of the Company, given the risks and opportunities associated with climate change, we as shareholders direct the Company to set and disclose targets to phase out the provision of financial services, including but not limited to project finance, corporate finance, and underwriting, to the energy sector (as defined by the Global Industry Classification Standard(1)) and electric and gas utility companies that are not aligned with Articles 2.1(a)(2) and 4.1(3) of the Paris Agreement (‘the Paris goals’). The timelines for phase out must be aligned with the Paris goals. The Company should report on progress on an annual basis, starting from 2021 onwards. Disclosure and reporting should be done at reasonable cost and omit proprietary information
And this year Resolutions 29 was not supported by the Board 2021.
“29. That, to promote the long-term success of the Company, given the risks and opportunities associated with climate change,the Company and the Directors be authorised and directed by the shareholders to:1. Set an ambition to be a net zero bank inScopes 1, 2 and 3 by 2050, in line withthe objectives of the Paris Agreement(1).2. Set, disclose and implement a strategy,with targets, to transition its provision of financial services(2) across all sectors(starting with, but not limited to, theenergy and power sectors) to alignwith the goals and timelines of theParis Agreement.3. Report annually on progress under thatstrategy, starting from 2021, including asummary of the framework, methodology,timescales and core assumptions used,omitting commercially confidentialor competitively sensitive information,and at reasonable cost.” https://home.barclays/content/dam/home-barclays/documents/investor-relations/reports-and-events/AGM2021/2021-Results-of-AGM-Final.pdf
So why does Bournemouth University Bank with Barclays ?
Already there has been one successful campaign for an institution to boycott Barclays because of their financing of fossil fuel projects.
· Sheffield SU - In February 2017, Sheffield SU voted to boycott Barclays because of their financing of fossil fuel projects globally as well as owning Third Energy - the company planning to frack in North Yorkshire - at the time.
· Young Labour - In October 2017, Young Labour (the youth wing of the UK Labour Party) passed a motion supporting divestment at their National Youth Policy Conference which included a committment to not bank with Barclays because of their fossil fuel finance.
· Trinity St David Students' Union - In October 2017, Trinity St David Students' Union held a democratic vote to boycott Barclays and campaign for their university to do the same after a motion was submitted by a People & Planet student.
· Bristol SU - In November 2017, Bristol Students' Union voted at a Student Council meeting to boycott Barclays and support the student campaign for the University to do the same.
· Surrey SU - In February 2019, Surrey Students' Unions decided to boycott Barclays.
· National Union of Students Wales - In March 2019, delegates at NUS Wales' Conference voted to boycott Barclays as part of a motion supporting the Divest Barclays campaign.
· National Union of Students (NUS) - In April 2019, delegates at NUS' National Conference voted to boycott Barclays as part of a motion submitted by People & Planet students supporting the Divest Barclays campaign.
· Leeds SU - voted to boycott Barclays in 2020
· Durham SU - in 2020, Durham SU also passed a motion for an institutional boycott of Barclays
· Lancaster SU - in 2020, Lancaster Students' Union voted in favour of boycotting Barclays
· University of East Anglia SU - In October 2020, UEA's Students' Union passed a Divest Barclays motion
· Sussex SU voted in favour of a motion to boycott Barclays.
· Dundee SU voted to boycott Barclays. https://peopleandplanet.org/divest-barclays
Further resourses https://www.bankingonclimatechaos.org/wpcontent/uploads/2021/10/Banking_on_Climate_Change__2020_vF.pdf https://www.bankingonclimatechaos.org/