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2020-05-01

Norway's wealth fund favors Barclay's climate goals under the pressure of investors

Image:-Barclays Stock

The sovereign wealth fund of Norway will vote for a resolution committing Barclays to tackle climate change at the bank's annual general meeting on May 7, instead of a separate shareholder, the fund said Friday.

The resolution was put forward by the board of the bank in response to investor pressure and the ShareAction campaign group which had put forward its own resolution.

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

"We expect all companies in our portfolio to be transparent about their strategy in their operations and value chain to calculate, disclose and reduce greenhouse gas emissions," the fund said in a statement.

"The board and management should determine the exact nature of the implementation, such as the magnitude, frameworks and timelines for emission reduction," 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 in line with the Paris Agreement's objectives and timelines, and to report on progress annually.

British NGO Share Action also called on investors to back their own resolve to ensure that the bank actually stops funding carbon emitters rather than just taking offsetting measures.

Norway's wealth fund has long pushed the firms it invests in to disclose non-financial data, such as greenhouse gas emissions, and find out how resilient their firms would be to different climate change scenarios.

The fund would back all other resolutions presented at Barclays' AGM, it said, except for the resolution of Share Action.