Our Net Zero ambition:

As the Trustee of the Barclays Bank UK Retirement Fund (UKRF), we see climate change as a key financial risk affecting our investment asset portfolio.

In the interest of members and aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, across the investment portfolio we aim to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and to be net zero carbon by 2050 or sooner.

We all know that climate change is real, present and not going away unless we take urgent worldwide action across business, financial arenas and society at large. You have told us that climate change is high on your agenda as well. At the UKRF we intend to play our part, by setting out our own Net Zero ambition for the Fund.

What are we announcing?

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has made the situation clear – to avoid the most drastic outcomes, global warming needs to stay below a 1.5°C rise.

In response to this, we aim to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 across our investment portfolio, and reach a net zero carbon level by 2050. It’s a goal that aligns with the wider Barclays business, and the target set by the Paris Agreement to contain the rise in global temperatures.

Why are we doing it?

As Trustees, we are responsible for running the UKRF in the best interests of its members. We realise that the wide-ranging impact of ongoing climate change – on the natural environment, on industry, and society – will impact our ability to invest the UKRF’s assets successfully over the long term.

This announcement builds on the work of our existing responsible investment policy. Not only will this enable us to continue meeting our financial commitment to members – it will also contribute to the good of society as a whole in the face of the current climate challenges.

What steps are we taking?

As part of our overall commitment to responsible investing, ‘environmental, social and governance’ (or ESG) principles are at the centre of our decision-making. From a climate change perspective, that means:

Evaluating climate risk every day Understanding where climate change impacts our overall investment strategy and building it into our everyday risk management approach.
Setting priorities Taking account of which climate risks could impact the UKRF in the short, medium and long terms and developing climate change risk management targets and metrics to support our net zero ambitions and measure progress.
Supporting energy transition Taking advantage of investment opportunities that arise as businesses and services move towards a net zero economy – bringing them into our wider strategy.
Investing proactively Choosing investments that align with the Paris Agreement goals where appropriate for the UKRF to do so – and insisting that our advisers and fund managers support this goal.
Using our influence Engaging and collaborating with our peers and the wider market, and using our voting rights, to encourage awareness and adoption of sustainable business practices.

We are already working with industry leading bodies - the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and their Paris Aligned Investment Initiative (PAII) and the Net Zero Investment Framework. We have also recently made commitments to The Asset Owners Network of the Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability (AS4) and become one of the first signatories to the new Stewardship Code as an asset owner.

Looking ahead

As our plans develop and our journey towards net zero progresses, we will keep you updated.

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