Market: Barclays tightens lending criteria for polluting projects

by Tommy Wilkes

LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays Group said on Wednesday it would tighten its lending criteria for coal-based energy projects and stop financing oil sands exploration and production, without announcing restrictions for new oil and gas fields as some of its rivals have done.

The British bank has extended to other Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries a previously announced plan to phase out financing for customers involved in coal-fired power generation by 2030 in the UK and the European Union.

When announcing its results for 2022, Barclays also announced that it would stop financing oil sands exploration and production, as well as new pipelines.

Banks around the world have announced their plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contain rising global temperatures. But environmental activists denounce the slowness of these actions and demand that funding for new oil and gas fields be stopped.

Some environmental activists hoped Barclays would announce a new oil and gas financing policy, following the example of HSBC bank which said in December that it would stop financing new drilling directly.

The bank said it was on track to meet its 2030 targets with funded emission reductions for industries including energy, power and steel, although it was helped by cash-rich sector customers who did not need financing in 2022.

(Report by Tommy Reggiori Wilkes, French version Dina Kartit, edited by Kate Entringer)

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