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Barclays sets net zero carbon target for 2050 after investor pressure

Bank pledges to align all of its financing activities with goals of Paris climate agreement

Barclays has been the top European financier of fossil fuels in the last four years and is the seventh largest globally, according to a recent report by the Rainforest Action Network. Photograph: Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Barclays has bowed to investor pressure over its climate track record and announced plans to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050.

The bank, which has its headquarters in London, has pledged to align all of its financing activities with the goals and timelines of the Paris agreement, starting with the energy and power sectors, and to publish “transparent targets” to track its progress.

The proposal will be put to an investor vote at its annual general meeting on 7 May and is part of the response to a separate shareholder resolution urging the bank to phase out all lending and services to energy and fossil fuel companies that fail to align with Paris climate goals.

The campaign group ShareAction – which spearheaded the shareholder vote – said the net zero commitment was a “milestone announcement” for the lender. [continue]