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03 July 2023

Emma Thompson among celebrities calling for Wimbledon to axe Barclays sponsorship

03 July 2023

Dame Emma Thompson is among the celebrities asking Wimbledon to remove Barclays as sponsors of the tennis competition.

The 64-year-old Oscar-winning actress has signed a letter to Sally Bolton – chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) – objecting to the bank on climate change grounds ahead of the event kicking off on Monday.

Other signatories to the letter include Love Actually director Richard Curtis, musician Brian Eno, Green MP Caroline Lucas, Dragons’ Den star Deborah Meaden and retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas.

The campaigners write: “Barclays is financing and profiting from climate chaos, and accepting a sponsorship deal from them is an endorsement of these actions.”

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

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

The letter also states: “We hope you will reconsider this decision, and end your partnership with Barclays.

“In taking such action, you can show real climate leadership, and maintain the AELTC’s proud position of cultural and sporting leadership, both in the UK and across the world.”

Greenpeace UK, XR Money Rebellion and former UN climate chief Christiana Figueres – who was responsible for the delivery of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2015 – are also backers of the campaign.

In May, environmental protesters caused Barclays’ annual meeting for shareholders in central London to be temporarily halted.

At the event, the bank’s management team was pressed over its climate policies and decision not to end financing the expansion of oil and gas fields.

Chairman Nigel Higgins said: “The world at the moment cannot function without fossil fuels.”

He also said the bank had restricted its financing of energy companies and reduced emissions from its energy portfolio by a third over the last few years.

Barclays and the AELTC have been contacted for a response.

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