Protesters expose Barclays greenwash at Wimbledon - Extinction Rebellion UK

Protesters expose Barclays greenwash at Wimbledon

Today members of Extinction Rebellion London and Money Rebellion gathered outside Wimbledon Centre Court to expose Barclays greenwashing. John McEnroe look-alikes challenged the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC): ‘You cannot be serious!’ 

Last year, the AELTC signed a multi-year sponsorship deal with Barclays – which is funding the destruction of ancient forests, fuelling climate breakdown, and financing companies providing arms used in conflicts around the world – a relationship proudly advertised by Barclays in huge billboards opposite Wimbledon Station.

A giant Visa card was displayed, with the long number replaced by the words:

 ‘PROFITS TODAY, WHO CARES ABOUT TOMORROW Barclays has financed $235 billion in Fossil Fuels since Paris in 2015’ 

“We would just like to highlight why for Barclays it is so important to be part of this event,” said Claude Fourcroy of Money Rebellion. “You are going to have a very nice time while seeing the Barclays logo in many places, including on the umpire’s chair, and it will give you this good feeling, when in reality Barclays is making a lot of money still pouring billions into fossil fuels.

“We have are on the path to 1.5 degrees of warming, the threshold that scientists say we should not go beyond or we are risking triggering tipping points, leading to irreversible climate and planet changes. Does Barclays care? It financed another $24bn of fossil fuels in 2023, congratulating itself on how it has reduced its CO2 intensity!” 

The leaflets handed out by protesters expanded on the various ways in which Barclays is causing harm. 

Through its financial support for the meat giant JBS, Barclays is contributing to the destruction of ancient forests. It has fed $6.7 billion to JBS, which is destroying ancient forests while facing numerous allegations of political corruption and land grabbing. It is also accused of allowing children it employs to work with dangerous chemicals.[1]

Barclays is Europe’s number one funder of the fossil fuel industry and number eight in the world.[2] It has put $235 billion into fossil fuels since the Paris Agreement in 2015. That means billions to Shell and Exxon and the like to allow them to continue their misinformation campaigns, human rights abuses, oil spills and profiteering. Barclays’ own investors have called their sustainability work ‘totally dishonest’. 

Finally, Barclays is a major funder of the arms companies providing guns and bombs to conflicts around the world, including Palestine. It has funnelled $7.6 billion into arming Israel which has killed 14,500 children in Gaza, and counting.[3]

 “Barclays knows all of this,” say the protesters, “but they’re choosing to ignore it. Barclays is sponsoring Wimbledon to distract you from it.

 “Together, we’re asking Wimbledon to drop Barclays as a sponsor.”

 In a major speech on 5 June, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres called fossil fuel companies the ‘godfathers of climate chaos’. He said they should be banned in every country from advertising, akin to restrictions on big tobacco.[4] What is sponsorship, if not advertising?


[1] How Barclays continuous destructive funding is pushing our climate to the brink, Action Aid, 07 May 2024

[2] Banking on Climate Chaos 2024

[3] Barclays increases investment in Israeli arms firms: Report, The Cradle, 08 May 2024

[4] Godfathers of climate chaos’: UN chief urges global fossil-fuel advertising ban, The Guardian, 05 June 2024.

Photography: Andrea Domeniconi

Related topics

Barclays fossil fuels Greenwash sponsorship Wimbledon

Sign up for news