Extinction Rebellion accuses Barclays of talking green, acting dirty

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators outside Barclays Bank in St Peter's Street, St Albans.

Extinction Rebellion demonstrators outside Barclays Bank in St Peter's Street, St Albans. - Credit: Alice Giddings

Climate activists Extinction Rebellion staged a protest outside Barclays Bank in St Albans city centre. 

The group labelled Barclays ‘The Ecocide Bank’ claiming its investments in coal, oil and gas are fuelling climate breakdown.

Protestors poured oil on themselves and laid down inside the bank at closing time, al  the while holding signs accusing Barclays of being a dirty bank and encouraging onlookers to switch to another provider.

Nigel Harvey, a spokesman for Extinction Rebellion in St Albans said: “We have COP26 starting and Barclays continue to drive the climate crisis. They talk green, they act dirty.

“We are really concerned about the climate crisis, as we all should be because it is resulting in crop failures, deadly heat waves and increasing flooding and it's going to cause a horrendous situation in the UK within the next 20 or 30 years.

"Barclays is Europe's biggest financier of fossil fuels. It is doing more than probably any other organisation in the UK to drive the climate crisis.”

The group claims that Barclays financed $27bn in fossil fuels in 2020, and has invested almost $145bn in coal, oil and gas projects across the planet since 2015.

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Nigel said he and his fellow protestors were willing to get arrested if it helped to battle the climate change crisis.

In a letter handed in to the Barclays St Albans branch manager Extinction Rebellion wrote: “La Banque Postale has recently announced a total exit from oil and gas by 2030 and an immediate suspension of financial service to oil and gas developers. If Barclays, the biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe, followed suit – and sooner – it would give hope to young people frightened for their future and those in the Global South who are most vulnerable.”

Barclays were offered the chance to respond to these allegations but a spokesperson for the bank said: “I am aware of the protest at our St Albans branch. We will not be making a comment or providing a statement on this occasion.”