Climate activists ‘hack’ over 200 billboards to protest alleged greenwashing

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Campaigners have taken over major billboards across the UK with fake ads to protest Barclays Bank’s investment in the oil, gas and meat industries.

Brandalism, who staged similar protests against companies like Shell and HSBC, told VICE World News he had “hacked” more than 200 billboards in more than 20 cities across the UK.

The posters feature images of deforestation with slogans such as “Barclays, Drilling Our Way to Net Zero”. Billboards on bus stops and main roads have appeared in cities like Liverpool, Brighton and Bristol.

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The posters, designed by 11 artists including Darren Cullen, Soofiya, Fokawolf, Merny Wernz, Rhonda Anaconda, Frank Riot, Michelle Tylicki, Inzione, F-Art-Attack and Seize the Mean, aim to draw attention to corporate finance by Barclays. drilling for arctic oil, coal mining and hydraulic fracturing, as well as meat companies like JBS, a Brazilian company linked to deforestation in the Amazon.

JBS disputed the allegations and said it has put in place a new system to monitor its supply chain for deforestation issues.

Brandalism’s Tona Merriman said, “The posters feature environmental impacts that we don’t see in Barclays own ads: deforestation, ocean drilling, oil spills, wildfires, the threat to wildlife.

The protest comes as banks face increased pressure from climate activists to stop funding fossil fuel companies.

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A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are aligning our entire financing portfolio to support the goals of the Paris Agreement – significantly increasing green financing, investing directly in new green technologies and helping clients across sectors. keys to changing their business models to reduce their impact on climate change. . By 2025, we will reduce the emissions intensity of our energy portfolio by 30% and the absolute emissions of our energy portfolio by 15%. Our rapidly growing capital markets business has already facilitated £ 46bn of green financing. We are one of the only banks in the world to invest our own capital – £ 175million – in innovative and green start-ups. By deploying finance in this way, we are accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy and will become a net zero bank by 2050. ”

Merriman added: “Ahead of COP26, banks like Barclays will tell the world how much they are investing in renewables. But what is more important is how much they continue to pour into fossil fuels. It’s not enough to fund the good things, they have to stop funding the bad things too.

Barclays has already been criticized for its investment in the oil and gas industries by the environmental organization Greenpeace and the International Energy Agency (IEA).

This article has been updated to include a comment from Barclays.

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