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Wimbledon: Emma Thompson among celebrities calling for end to Barclays sponsoring tennis competition

Emma Thompson is one of the celebrities calling for Wimbledon to remove Barclays as a sponsor of the tennis competition.

As the tournament kicked off on Monday (July 3), the Oscar-winning actor signed an open letter protesting the bank on climate change grounds.

The letter was addressed to the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) Sally Bolton.

Other signers to the letter include Really love director Richard Curtis, musician Brian Eno, Green Congressman Caroline Lucas, Dragon’s Cave star Deborah Meaden, and retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas.

“Barclays is funding and profiting from climate chaos, and accepting a funding deal from them is an endorsement of these actions,” the campaigners wrote.

Wimbledon announced Barclays as its official banking partner in November, with the bank taking over from HSBC.

The signatories also said the Wimbledon partnership was not “consistent” with the environmental policies of the Grand Slam event.

The letter also states: “We hope you will reconsider this decision and terminate the partnership with Barclays.

“By taking such action, you can demonstrate true climate leadership and maintain AELTC’s proud sporting and cultural leadership, both in the UK and around the world. .”

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Greenpeace UK, XR Money Rebellion and former UN climate director Christiana Figueres, later responsible for the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, are also supporters of the campaign.

On Monday, Bolton said: “We really welcome Barclays this year, they are a great new partner.

“An important part of their involvement with us is making a significant contribution to the foundation, so they can help people in need across the UK, so we are really proud of that.” and work closely with Barclays to develop that relationship.

“Our commitment to environmental positivity is a serious one and we truly believe that we, along with other sports organisations, play an important role in that and we do not shy away from it. that.”

A spokesperson for the AELTC emphasized Barclays’ support of the philanthropic Wimbledon Foundation and the championship’s ambition to make a “positive impact on the environment”.

The statement also said: “We know this is one of the defining challenges of our time and we are fully committed to our role.

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“From using 100% renewable electricity and including low-carbon options on our menu, to going zero waste and promoting a culture of reuse, we are working to make achieve a positive environmental impact in all its activities.”

A Barclays spokesman said “addressing climate change is an urgent and complex challenge” and the company has provided £87 billion in green financing over the past five years.

They also say that oil and gas companies are “critical to the transition and have committed significant resources and expertise to renewable energy”.

The statement added: “When companies are not willing to reduce their emissions in line with internationally accepted pathways, they may have difficulty accessing financing, including from Barclays. “.

In May, environmental protesters halted Barclays’ annual shareholder meeting in central London. At the event, the bank’s management team was under pressure about climate policies and decided not to end funding for the expansion of oil and gas fields.

“The current world cannot function without fossil fuels,” said President Nigel Higgins.

He also said the bank has limited funding to energy companies and reduced emissions from its energy portfolio by a third over the past few years.

Press Association supplementary report.


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