Formal governmental measures to achieve net zero remain unclear (and given the current Covid-19 crisis this looks likely to remain the case for some time).

In their absence, news of Barclays' plans to align all of its financing activities with the Paris agreement, and to shrink its carbon footprint to net zero by 2050 is interesting for two reasons.

Firstly it further illustrates the significance of public commitments taken by major businesses, particular when those businesses wield the type of influence of a major bank like Barclays.

Secondly, the details of the story suggest the important role that investors have and show that companies must pay due consideration to the expectations of investors, and other key stakeholders, with regard to the company's position on climate change and other ESG factors.

This is the latest in a line of public pronouncements on net zero from major corporations: see also Tesco, BP and Nestle.  Even in the absence of detailed government action, the private sector is moving on net zero.