Activists in Essex targeted a bank branch to protest their funding for fossil fuels. 

Extinction Rebellion members from Colchester attended a protest on April 13 at the Barclays bank branch in Clacton.

They claim the bank is the biggest fossil fuel funder in Europe. 

The group resorts to non-violent, disruptive civil disobedience, saying traditional strategies have failed.

Protesters unveiled a banner stating, ‘Barclays funding climate breakdown’ and handed out flyers while seeking conversations with passers-by. 

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The action group draws its information from the 2023 Banking on Climate Chaos report, which states Barclays provided more than 190 billion US dollars in financing to the fossil fuel industry between 2016 and 2022. 

Despite a recent statement by Barclays to no longer provide any direct funding for new oil and gas projects, the action group is not satisfied. 

A spokesman for Extinction Rebellion Colchester said: "Although on the surface this seems like a huge win, unfortunately only 1 per cent of Barclays financing to oil and gas expanders between 2016 - 2021 was via project, for example direct, finance.

"Also, it doesn't apply to any existing projects.

“Barclays must phase out existing cash flow, project and corporate finance to companies that are extracting fossil fuels or making investments in fossil fuel power plants and infrastructure.  

“Phase out all financial services to companies with profiles that are not aligned with the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C.  

“And ultimately, adopt a decision-making process genuinely predicated on the needs of the planet – not profit.” 

A Barclays spokesman said: “With a target to provide $1trn of Sustainable and Transition Finance by 2030, Barclays continues to support an energy sector in transition, focusing on the diversified energy companies investing in low-carbon and with greater scrutiny on those engaged in developing new oil and gas projects.

“We are committed to financing current energy needs, while financing the scaling of the clean energy system of tomorrow, to ensure that energy is secure, affordable and reliable. 

"Barclays’ absolute financed emissions for the Energy sector reduced by 44% since 2020, exceeding our 2030 target.”