A total 99% of voters at Barclays 2020 Annual General Meeting (AGM) have voted in support of a climate resolution following continued pressure from shareholders and the industry to lower investments in fossil fuels.
Shareholders at the AGM - held virtually from London on 7 May - voted overwhelmingly in favour of a resolution to see Barclays become net-zero by 2050.
In a statement to shareholders, chairman Nigel Higgins said Barclays "should play a leading role" in tackling climate change and "preservation of our external environment".
Higgins said: "This [resolution] commits the group to a strategy with targets for alignment of its entire financing portfolio to the goals of the Paris Agreement and I believe that this represents a substantial and necessary step on the journey to Barclays becoming one of the leading banks globally in addressing climate change.
"The size and scale of our business means that we can really help accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy [and] I'm extremely grateful to the shareholders and other stakeholders who have engaged with us so patiently and thoughtfully over recent months as we have developed this new strategy."
ShareAction figures in January showed Barclays had provided more than $85bn (£64.8bn) of finance to fossil fuel companies and high-carbon projects such as tar sands and Arctic oil and gas since the Paris Agreement, making it the world's sixth largest backer of fossil fuels.
The charity then spearheaded a resolution filed by a group of 11 pension and investment funds - which collectively manage more than £130bn worth of assets - which called for Barclays to end loan offerings to fossil fuel companies.
Government-backed auto enrolment provider Nest was among the 11 and again called for a robust plan on winding up the investments in February inline with action taken by other banks to reflect international climate expectations.
Commenting on the new net-zero resolution laid out by the board, Sarasin & Partners head of stewardship Natasha Landell-Mills said:
"Today, shareholders overwhelmingly voted in favour of adding Paris-alignment to Barclay's Articles of Association which means directors have an explicit duty to run their business in a way that contributes to bringing down carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.
"This represents a huge step forward for Barclays, for which the board should be commended. It also offers a powerful model for others. All banks - indeed all companies - should be looking hard at whether they too should hardwire a Paris commitment into their governing statutes.
"This is not just the right thing to do for society, it is also vital to protect shareholder capital into the future."
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