ENVIRONMENTALISTS held a demonstration outside Barclays in Stroud town centre yesterday (Thursday) to highlight the bank's links to the fossil fuel industry.

David Lambert of Extinction Rebellion said: "Our objective was to inform both customers of Barclays and the general public about the huge investment Barclays continues to make in fossil fuels and to give them alternative more ethical banking options.

"A recent survey found that almost 80% of Barclays customers are unaware of the bank's huge fossil fuel investments and that almost three million customers would ‘very likely consider’ leaving Barclays for more ethical alternatives.

Marguerite Doubleday of Extinction Rebellion added: "Barclays have invested £104bn in fossil fuels since the UN Paris agreement to limit global warming in 2015. That’s more than any other bank in Europe.

"Most customers just don’t know about how Barclays is funding climate chaos: we need Barclays to disinvest and to do that we need its customers to know the truth."

Extinction Rebellion's Impossible Rebellion starting on 23rd August for two weeks is demanding that the government ends all future fossil fuel investment. Over these two weeks and into September, XR is planning actions outside the 798 branches of Barclays.

A Barclays spokesperson said: “We are aligning our entire financing portfolio to support the goals of the Paris Agreement - significantly scaling up green financing, directly investing in new green technologies and helping clients in key sectors change their business models to reduce their climate change impact. By 2025, we will reduce the emissions intensity of our power portfolio by 30%, and reduce absolute emissions of our energy portfolio by 15%. Increasing at pace, our capital markets business has already facilitated £46bn of green finance. We are one of the only banks globally investing our own capital – £175m – into innovative, 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.”