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Barclays AGM disrupted by climate change protesters

People & Planet has taken credit for the protest.

Barclays annual meeting was disrupted by climate change activists calling on the bank to stop financing firms involved in fossil fuels.

Chris Saltmarsh, the fossil free campaign coordinator for People & Planet – the group that has taken credit for the protest – said it involved seven students from the likes of Oxford, Bristol, Sheffield, Newcastle and the University of East Anglia.

While climate related questions were posed by shareholders, he said the group did not think they were properly answered and decided to take to the front of the conference hall.

“Some of us made it onto the stage and we were pretty forcibly removed,” he said.

“We were pretty clear that we were protesting peacefully but were pretty heavily dragged off by two or three security per person,” he said.

BREAKING: P&P students JUST disrupted the Barclays AGM demanding they ditch all fossil fuel finance NOW! Support our call here: https://act.peopleandplanet.org/petitions/barclays-bank-boycott-barclays

Posted by People & Planet on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The protesters were taken out of the QEII Centre in Westminster through the fire exit.

Mr Saltmarsh said it was part of a wider campaign that students across the UK were taking part in.

“They (Barclays) should start by excluding new coal, tar sands and arctic drilling,” Mr Saltmarsh said.

“HSBC excluded those sectors ten days ago so the precedent has been set and there’s no excuse for Barclays not to do the same,” he added.

“We need to keep fossil fuels in the ground.”

These students JUST disrupted the Barclays AGM protesting fossil fuel finance Support our call here: https://act.peopleandplanet.org/petitions/barclays-bank-boycott-barclays

Posted by People & Planet on Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A question posed at the AGM before the protest broke out pressed executives over support for tar sands extraction in Canada.

Barclays chairman John McFarlane responded by saying that this was a “concern for many shareholders” but noted that some countries like Canada and Australia had resource-based economies reliant on the likes of fossil fuels.

“So you get this conflict that does arise,” he said.

However, Mr McFarlane said that Barclays had gone to lengths to consider its “relationships and transactions” in the sector and had met with groups like Greenpeace along the way.

He said the bank was now in the process of preparing a formal review of the fossil fuel sector that it hoped to publish later on this year.

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