Barclays, a UK based international bank, published an ‘Energy and Climate Change Statement’ focusing on oil and gas drilling in Arctic. According to the statement, the bank restricts its financing for exploration or extraction of oil and gas and supported that any client conducting new exploration of or extraction of Arctic oil and gas will be subject to the Employment Development Department, EDD.
Generally, the financial sector has already started to support the clean energy transition. Barcley’s announcement comes at a time when other major banks have already opposed to Arctic drilling, such as HSBC, BNP Paribas, Royal Bank of Scotland, Societe Generale, and others.
Mainly, Barcley’s policy leaves out funding for companies that aim to begin drilling operations in the Arctic Refuge as well as other action that would add more challenges and threats to the climate.
Also, according to the bank Arctic oil and gas refers to new exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the area within the Arctic Circle which is subject to sea ice, and includes the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Coastal Plains.
The ANWR is a particularly fragile and pristine ecosystem which is central to the livelihoods and culture of local indigenous peoples.
Finally, the bank supported that except clients being subjected to the EDD, Barclays will conduct EDD on any financing transaction directly connected with the exploration or extraction of oil or gas in the Arctic. Under the EDD framework, the bank would not expect such project finance proposals to meet its criteria.