UK banking group Barclays has announced it will expand investments from its sustainable impact capital mandate to £500 million in the next five years.
News of the 2027 investment target comes after Barclays surpassed its original £150 million budget for climate tech startups, which was endorsed in 2018 for fulfillment by 2025. It follows a successful review of the bank's capabilities, market demand and climate tech growth opportunities.
From 2023 to 2030, Barclays aims to have facilitated $1 trillion of sustainability and climate transition financing in line with the group's net zero emissions objective, which seeks to achieve carbon neutrality across its portfolio by mid-21st century.
Earlier this year Barclays shareholders also validated a new climate strategy as CEO C. S. Venkatakrishnan argued lowering emissions was one of the "defining issues of our lifetime."
Barclays has poured £84 million into growth-stage climate tech startups in the past two and a half years. It now proposes to double down on decarbonisation tech seen as enabling the road to net zero in "carbon intensive" sectors, like energy, real estate and transport. Carbon capture facilities, used to sequester CO2 from heavy emitters, is likely to be backed as are startups enabling production of cleaner hydrogen fuels.
Responding to the sustainable impact investment announcement, C.S Venkatakrishnan said: "Today’s announcements reinforce our group-wide strategic priority to capture the opportunities from the transition to a low-carbon economy.
"From facilitating financing for high-emitting sectors to adapt, to our own equity investments in climate-tech start-ups, to our support for customers and small businesses, Barclays’ diverse ecosystem has the capability and expertise to accelerate the transition across all aspects of the economies that we serve.”