Barclays’ bold move: Steering capital towards sustainable energy solutions

Barclays Steering Capital Towards Sustainable Energy Solutions

In a bold stride towards corporate sustainability, Barclays has recently delineated its strategic focus on steering capital and resources towards sustainable energy solutions, marking a pivotal shift in the financial sector’s role in combating climate change.

With the unveiling of its revised Climate Change Statement, Barclays commits to ceasing direct financing for new oil and gas projects, setting a clear precedent for how banks can influence the energy sector’s transition to greener alternatives​​. This move not only reflects Barclays’ dedication to facilitating a low-carbon future but also aligns with its ambitious goal to support $1 trillion of Sustainable and Transition Finance by 2030​​.

Barclays’ Strategy for Funding Sustainable Energy Solutions

Here are the key elements of Barclays’ approach to supporting the energy sector’s decarbonisation:

  • Ceasing Financing for New Oil and Gas Projects: Barclays has made a firm commitment to stop directly financing energy clients’ new oil and gas projects, indicating a significant shift in its lending practices towards more sustainable ventures​.
  • Introduction of Transition Finance Framework: To facilitate its $1 trillion Sustainable and Transition Finance target by 2030, Barclays has introduced a Transition Finance Framework. This framework outlines the criteria for transition finance transactions, aiming to decarbonise high-emitting sectors and support the global transition to net-zero emissions​.
  • Restrictions on Non-Diversified Energy Clients: Barclays is setting stringent restrictions for new and non-diversified oil and gas clients engaged in expansion. This move is designed to encourage more sustainable operational practices within the energy sector​.

The company’s initiatives represent a strategic alignment with global sustainability goals, highlighting the critical role of financial institutions in facilitating the transition to a more sustainable and low-carbon future.

Barclays’ Response to Stakeholder Pressure

Barclays’ strategic shift towards supporting sustainable energy initiatives comes in response to increasing pressure from various stakeholders, including environmental campaigners, shareholder activists, and the broader public. Daniel Hanna, Barclays’ Global Head of Sustainable Finance for the Corporate and Investment Bank, said: “The final COP27 text stated that $4-6 trillion a year needs to be invested in renewables and decarbonisation solutions until 2030 – including investments in technology and infrastructure – to allow us to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Barclays is uniquely positioned to help scale the new climate technologies that will decarbonise industries and create green jobs.“

This statement underscores Barclays’ recognition of its pivotal role in mobilising financial resources to support the global transition to sustainable energy solutions. 

Barclays’ engagement with stakeholders, including climate experts and civil society groups, has been instrumental in shaping its revised Climate Change Statement and Transition Finance Framework. By aligning its financial services to achieve net-zero emissions, Barclays demonstrates a commitment to an orderly and just energy transition, addressing climate change and energy security.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

The strategic redirection of Barclays towards financing sustainable energy solutions presents both challenges and opportunities:

  • Navigating Transition Costs: The shift towards green finance involves navigating the high costs associated with transitioning to sustainable energy sources​.
  • Balancing Stakeholder Interests: Meeting the demands of environmental activists while ensuring energy security and affordability for customers and clients​.
  • Expanding Impact: Leveraging Barclays’ global reach and expertise to support the energy transition beyond direct financing, influencing broader industry practices​.
  • Innovation and Collaboration: The opportunity to innovate in financial products and collaborate with energy sector clients on their transition strategies, driving towards net-zero emissions​.


Barclays’ commitment to steering capital towards sustainable energy solutions marks a pivotal advancement in the finance sector’s role in combating climate change. By prioritising investments in diversified energy companies and implementing stringent transition strategies and decarbonisation requirements for its clients, Barclays is positioning itself as a leading advocate for environmental stewardship in the financial industry. This initiative represents a significant step forward in integrating sustainability into the core business strategies, underscoring the critical role financial institutions play in achieving a sustainable and resilient global economy.

The Diploma in Business Sustainability course offered by the Institute of Sustainability Studies is an excellent learning resource for professionals eager to deepen their understanding of sustainable finance and lead sustainability initiatives within their organisations. This course provides comprehensive insights into sustainable business practices, including the financial aspects of sustainability. Course participants gain a comprehensive and practical understanding of key sustainability topics and learn to put forward-looking sustainability plans into action.



Cover Image Credit: Ajay Suresh

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