Haringey Community Press

Haringey Community Press

Green activists urge Barclays to 'clean up its act'

Extinction Rebellion targets Barclays for its latest stunt

Hero for Green activists urge Barclays to 'clean up its act'
Local Extinction Rebellion activists dressed as cleaners for their protest against Barclays in Crouch End
By James Cracknell 11 May 2022

Environmental activists staged a tuneful protest outside a branch of Barclays Bank in Crouch End.Environmental activists staged a tuneful protest outside a branch of Barclays Bank in Crouch End.

Dressed as cleaners, members of Muswell Hill’s Extinction Rebellion (XR) group set out to "scrub clean" the Crouch End branch of Barclays Bank, while singing songs as passers-by stopped to enjoy the spectacle.Dressed as cleaners, members of Muswell Hill’s Extinction Rebellion (XR) group set out to "scrub clean" the Crouch End branch of Barclays Bank, while singing songs as passers-by stopped to enjoy the spectacle.

The activists said they wanted to highlight the bank's "massive, climate-wrecking investments in oil, gas and coal" and labelled Barclays "the dirtiest bank in Europe" thanks to its £108billion worldwide investment in fossil fuels since 2015.The activists said they wanted to highlight the bank's "massive, climate-wrecking investments in oil, gas and coal" and labelled Barclays "the dirtiest bank in Europe" thanks to its £108billion worldwide investment in fossil fuels since 2015.

They also urged Barclays customers, who stopped to watch their protest, to take their custom elsewhere, highlighting which other banks had better environmental records.They also urged Barclays customers, who stopped to watch their protest, to take their custom elsewhere, highlighting which other banks had better environmental records.

A recent scientific report warned that the globally-agreed 1.5C limit on world temperature rise was now "close to being broken".A recent scientific report warned that the globally-agreed 1.5C limit on world temperature rise was now "close to being broken".

Last week's Crouch End protest was part of a country-wide campaign targeting fossil fuel investments by banks during May, when many banks hold their annual general meetings. Last week's Crouch End protest was part of a country-wide campaign targeting fossil fuel investments by banks during May, when many banks hold their annual general meetings. 

Annabel Gregory, one of the XR activists involved with the Crouch End demonstration, said: “Most people do not realise that Barclays’ claims to have green policies are far from the truth – in particular, their funding of planet-friendly projects are minute relative to their increasing investments in fossil fuels.Annabel Gregory, one of the XR activists involved with the Crouch End demonstration, said: “Most people do not realise that Barclays’ claims to have green policies are far from the truth – in particular, their funding of planet-friendly projects are minute relative to their increasing investments in fossil fuels.

"So for our children’s sake, and their children’s children, it is our duty to call Barclays out.”"So for our children’s sake, and their children’s children, it is our duty to call Barclays out.”

A 77-year-old grandmother, Jill Yglesias, added that her message to Barclays was simple: “Stop financing the destruction of our planet!"A 77-year-old grandmother, Jill Yglesias, added that her message to Barclays was simple: “Stop financing the destruction of our planet!"

And Marilyn Taylor added: “It really is easy to move your money! We want to give people the information they need to do this, especially if they bank with Barclays.”And Marilyn Taylor added: “It really is easy to move your money! We want to give people the information they need to do this, especially if they bank with Barclays.”

This week another protest against Barclays was held in Haringey, this time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, highlighting the bank's role in sponsoring women's football. Fossil Free London asked attendees to "score climate goals" and tweet Barclays asking them to give coal, oil and gas the boot.This week another protest against Barclays was held in Haringey, this time at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, highlighting the bank's role in sponsoring women's football. Fossil Free London asked attendees to "score climate goals" and tweet Barclays asking them to give coal, oil and gas the boot.

A spokesperson for Barclays said: “We are aligning our entire financing portfolio to support the goals of the Paris Agreement – significantly scaling up green financing, directly investing in new green technologies and helping clients in key sectors change their business models to reduce their climate change impact. Barclays has already facilitated £62bn of green finance."A spokesperson for Barclays said: “We are aligning our entire financing portfolio to support the goals of the Paris Agreement – significantly scaling up green financing, directly investing in new green technologies and helping clients in key sectors change their business models to reduce their climate change impact. Barclays has already facilitated £62bn of green finance."