Barclays has announced their first public policy that will prevent the bank from financing projects in World Heritage sites and Ramsar Wetlands, following WWF’s call for the world’s banks to stop financing damaging activities in the planet’s most precious places.
Despite being awarded the highest levels of protection by the United Nations, almost half of all natural and mixed World Heritage sites are threatened by harmful industrial practices such as oil and gas exploration and mining. One such project that Barclays has been linked to funding is the controversial Canadian Trans Mountain Pipeline, which carries crude and refined oil from Alberta to the west coast of British Columbia including through Alberta’s Jasper National Park, part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage site. Since 1954 there have been six oil spills from the section of the pipeline that overlaps the World Heritage site.
Barclays’ new policy will cover mining, oil and gas and major infrastructure industries.