Norway wealth fund backs Barclays climate goals amid investor pressure

FILE PHOTO: A Barclays bank office is seen at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

OSLO (Reuters) – Norway’s sovereign wealth fund will vote in favour of a resolution committing Barclays to tackling climate change at the bank’s annual general meeting on May 7, instead of a separate shareholder one, the fund said on Friday.

The resolution was put forward by the bank’s board in response to pressure from investors and the campaign group ShareAction which had put forward its own resolution.

The Norway wealth fund holds a 2.94% stake in Barclays which was worth $1.2 billion at the end of 2019.

“We expect all companies in our portfolio to be transparent about their strategy for calculating, disclosing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their operations and value chain,” the fund said in a statement.

“The exact nature of implementation, such as the magnitude, frameworks and timelines for emissions reduction, should be determined by the board and management,” it added.

Barclays will pledge to be a “net zero” emissions bank by 2050, to set a strategy for transitioning its provision of financial services to align with the goals and timelines of the Paris Agreement, and to report annually on progress.

British non-governmental organisation Share Action was calling on investors to also back its own resolution to ensure the bank actually stops financing carbon emitters rather than just taking offsetting measures.

Norway’s wealth fund has long been pushing for the firms it invests in to disclose non-financial data, such as greenhouse gas emissions, and to find out how resilient their businesses would be to various climate change scenarios.

Except for Share Action’s resolution, the fund would back all the other resolutions presented at Barclays’ AGM, it said.

Reporting by Gwladys Fouche; editing by David Evans and Elaine Hardcastle

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