99% of Barclay’s Shareholders Vote for Permanent COVID-19 Economy

Guest “you can’t actually vote on the Laws of Physics” by David Middleton

99% vote of support sees Barclays adopt climate resolution to be net-zero

Hope William-Smith
11 May 2020

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…

[blah, blah, blah]

Professional Pensions

This photo accompanied the article…

Does Ms. Hope William-Smith think this is a picture of carbon emissions?

What’s that? The article doesn’t say that Barclay’s shareholders voted for a permanent COVID-19 economy… Well, yes they did and they also voted for spending winters freezing in the dark.

The COVID-19 Economy and a Taste of ‘Net Zero’

May 7, 2020

From a BBC report on the impact of the COVID-19 lockdowns on COemissions:

To keep the world on track to stay under 1.5C this century, the world needs similar cuts for the foreseeable future to keep this target in view.

“If Covid-19 leads to a drop in emissions of around 5% in 2020, then that is the sort of reduction we need every year until net-zero emissions are reached around 2050,” said Glen Peters… from Cicero.

[Cicero is the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research]

1.5C is the target that emerged from the Paris Agreement on climate change.


If something akin to the COVID-19 economy for decades is what you want, going for ‘net zero’ by 2050 may be a way to achieve it.


National Review
It’s a fossil fueled world. BP Statistical Review of World Energy, 2018

In related news… US banks that discriminate against fossil fuel companies may wind up being barred from “participating in federally guaranteed loan programs laid out in the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program or the trillion dollar Federal Reserve facility lending programs.”

MAY 8, 2020 / 2:51 PM / 5 DAYS AGO
Republicans urge Trump to bar banks from shunning fossil fuel loans
Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of Republican lawmakers from energy-producing states on Friday called on President Donald Trump to prevent banks from halting loans and investments with companies that produce oil and other fossil fuels while they have access to federal assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Wall Street’s big banks … should not be able to reap the benefits of participating in federally guaranteed loan programs laid out in the CARES Act, such as the Paycheck Protection Program or the trillion dollar Federal Reserve facility lending programs, while simultaneously targeting American energy companies and workers,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Trump.


The Republican lawmakers, led by Senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Dan Sullivan of Alaska, and Representatives Don Young of Alaska and Liz Cheney of Wyoming, accused some major U.S. financial institutions of halting fossil fuel investments to “placate the environmental fringe.” They specifically cited BlackRock Inc, the world’s largest asset manager, which has been given a central role in the COVID-19 corporate recovery as a fiduciary to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.


“Considering BlackRock’s central role as a Federal Reserve fiduciary for the distribution of CARES Act credit facilities, its hostility towards the American energy sector is unacceptable and should be closely scrutinized,” the lawmakers wrote.



Lawmakers Urge Punishment For Banks That Won’t Back Drillers
By Jennifer A Dlouhy
May 8, 2020

Three dozen lawmakers are pushing the Trump administration to get tough on banks and asset managers that restrict financing for oil drilling and coal mining, arguing they are “discriminating against America’s energy sector” and it “must be confronted.”

In a letter released Friday, the lawmakers told President Donald Trump that he should punish those lenders by blocking them from participating in federally guaranteed loan programs created in response to the coronavirus, including the Paycheck Protection Program.


The Federal Reserve Bank of New York already said in a “frequently asked questions” document that the central bank will provide investment guidelines for coronavirus-spurred corporate credit facilities, rather than allowing investment managers to apply their own, internal guidelines.

The lawmakers put other lenders on notice, distributing copies of their letter to chief executives of Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JP Morgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., and Bank of America Corp.


54 thoughts on “99% of Barclay’s Shareholders Vote for Permanent COVID-19 Economy

  1. I’ll take your bet raise you one, David.

    ‘The Onion can’t keep up with CNN’: Network’s coronavirus town hall to feature… expert Greta Thunberg


    CNN’s latest installment of its ‘Facts and Fears’ town hall on the coronavirus pandemic will feature teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as one of its experts. What expertise Thunberg can offer on the virus is a mystery.

        • renbutler

          Her standard blank expression of utter non-comprehension is at least as world-class.

          Not a clue.

      • They need her trademark “How dare you!” for when people don’t social distance/wear masks and dare to not be afraid.

    • People must eventually realize CNN is only in the advert-selling business. They are NOT in the news business. By broadcasting only (often false) headline fodder, they attract a slightly/marginally larger audience which allows their US operations another few months of operation (and their toxic AT&T bosses a short lived smile). With continued revenue flow, they stay kinda in business. Over the next 18 months, however, I don’t see them surviving.

      And that’s a good thing.

      • I am constantly surprised that people ever believed that the media have ever had any responsibility to anyone except their shareholders, and any duty other than to sell advertising. It’s pretty obvious to me, and has been for almost all my life.

        The exception is state-run media, but they just march to a political drum rather than an economic one. Impartiality be damned.

      • I figure AT&T is using CNN as a write off. If they weren’t then there would have been big changes at the Network long ago.

  2. Steam is the new CO2.

    CO2 is invisible, of course, and so it just doesn’t cut it as a photo op.

    Best to publish visual lies for the sake of entertaining our doomsday fantasies.

    Now we should really gussy it up, by adding a bunch of macroscopic-sized corona viruses with smiley faces riding along gleefully in the steam. It’s getting to be this childish, so why not?

  3. Not to be outdone by Her Choice (e.g. the virus from Wuhan a.k.a. SARS-CoV-2), the shareholders vote for their choice… save the planet, dehydrate.

  4. “Does Ms. Hope William-Smith think this is a picture of carbon emissions?”
    Presumably Hope hopes her readers can’t tell the difference between water vapour and an colourless, odourless gas essential for the survival of all plant and animal life?

    • At least they didn’t do like media in Canada has in the past, take a picture of steam coming from an oilsands plant and invert it so the cloud is black.
      Yes, they actually did that.

    • Dear Chaamjamal – I think you mean “the British Government” and not “the British”. There are lots of science-aware citizens over here who do not buy into the CO2-is-evil mantra so please do not lump us in with the non-researching, gullible, nodding-dog MPs who sit in the House of Commons.

      • If Chaamjamal thinks true zero would be heroic then he must think we are living in a warm climate and we will have to revert to the stone age. No cooking allowed, no fires in winter and only stone tools allowed.

  5. Barclays’ stock is hitting 20 year lows in share price and is down over 70% in the last ten years. If the next ten years are similar, Barclays will be net zero a lot sooner than 2050.

  6. Wait for the fossil fuel energy sector to start its’ cyclical upswing and see how many investors stay away.

  7. David – Of COURSE you can vote for (or against) the laws of Physics. It has the same effect as me voting for a ‘real’ governor here in the state of Washington. Just don’t expect anything to happen.

  8. If you have cancer or a brain tumour, you get a second opinion before having it cut out; if you are running the risk of destroying the world by a wrong decision, you get a second opinion?

  9. “following continued pressure from shareholders and the industry to lower investments in fossil fuels”
    “Republicans urge Trump to bar banks from shunning fossil fuel loans”

    Yeah, screw the so-called ‘free market’, why can’t fossil fuel companies share in a bit of all this socialist intervention? Everyone else is.

    • No one is preventing Barclays shareholders from being stupid.

      Access to government programs is, by definition, not a free market thing.

      • Like most socialists, Loydo doesn’t understand the difference between criticizing and banning.

  10. That BBC bloke McGrath is an addled idiot, his article is incoherent conflating particulate air pollution and CO2 emissions, CO2 emissions and CO2 atmospheric concentration.

    • Being an addled idiot is part of the job description for BBC ‘correspondents’ these days.

  11. If Barclays restrict their energy finance to renewables, they are relying on generous, maybe perverse, support from governments. As long as that continues, it’s a safe bet. If rationality returns to gov’ts… it isn’t.

    Meanwhile, which part of the Paris Agreement did they have in mind? Peaking emissions by 2030, like China?

  12. I have yet to see any “Government” definition of nett zero. To an old codger like me, nett means the result after taking into account all pluses and minuses. Therefore, the nett-off point can be anywhere, such as the 650 ppmv suggested by Craig Idso when he estimated the carbon-dioxide concentration needed to grow enough food to support the 11 billion mouths projected by the UN for 2100. Maybe we should start a series of brain explosions within the climatically-correct by demanding both a formal definition of nett-zero, and then what their nett-off point is.

    • The government trick here is to financially subcontract all those nasty emissions overseas and define the rest as neutral biomass as in Drax power station.
      The accounting profession will be very compliant, with lots of “deeming” going on.

  13. Via their vote, the Barclays shareholders are a triple-threat, displaying 1) weapons-grade stupidity, 2) weapons-grade virtue-signaling and 3) weapons-grade hypocrisy. They win the Stupid Olympics.

    • Not really much of an accomplishment, in the Stupid Olympics all participants get a trophy just for showing up.

  14. The biggest pandemic astride the world is a gigantic case of stupid.

    It has already infected the managers of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and Total along with many college and university endowments and other eleemosynary funds.

    It now threatens the managers of ExxonMobil.

  15. David

    “being barred from participating in “participating in federally guaranteed loan programs….”

    Great post though !

  16. I am glad I binned Barclays in the UK in the 80’s. They we c@#ts then, seems like nothing has changed.

    • I’d like to divest myself of Barclays. Anyone know of any banks who have not / are less likely to embrace this narcissistic lunacy?

  17. AS alway, David, your comments are pertinent & entertaining. Make fun of foolish people! Keep up the good work!

      • And the great thing is there’s a never ending supply of targets to ridicule. 🙂

      • David,
        Albert Einstein lamented the infinitude of human stupidity; you, like Mark Twain, use humor and wit to burst their bubbles and denigrate their pride. Many thanks for keeping up the great American tradition of laughing at the foibles of self-important idiots afflicted with severe Dunning-Kruger effect! At least we now know the result of participation trophies for all!

  18. 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.

    Waiting for the reaction if at the end of the next business year they look what their revenues will be 😀

  19. My share in a natural gas company just sprouted an extra dividend! My family think I am worse than Texans and sport a ‘red neck’. They are all into ‘divestment’ (except for my richest brother who deals with the problem by farming out investments claims no knowledge of where the money is).

    • FranBC,
      I have always been told that the only real difference between a fiddle and a violin is that the fiddle has a “red neck.” Sounds like you’re in good company.

  20. It’s incredible that CNN and presumably CNN viewers want to be lectured by a troubled high school dropout who believes she can smell the CO2 in the air. I keep almost saying to myself “no one is this stupid” but then catch myself because someone obviously is.

    The climate activists seem to be building some kind of “freak show” to entertain their minions. Freaks as in mentally unstable people who will believe in anything (like the ones in Hollywood for example). These kinds of people used to end up in monasteries and other places where they could do no real harm all the while mumbling to themselves about demons – now they end up on CNN.

  21. “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.”

    There is nothing in that resolution which points to a CO2 emission reduction for Barclays or its customers, is there?

    Barclay will need to increase costs of business by means of purchasing Climate Fiction Indulgence letters, as will possibly customers be “convinced” to do.

    Which will impact profitability to a negligible degree without affecting CO2 emissions very much, if at all.


  22. But, then again, Barclays are managed by idiots who are simply incapable of defining a viable business, so I’m not surprised by this drivel.

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