Europe’s biggest bank HSBC announced on Wednesday it would stop funding new oil and gas fields as part of its climate strategy.
Climate activists hailed the announcement, noting that HSBC outpaces other large banks, but called on the bank to go further.
The bank said it would continue to finance existing fossil fuel projects “in accordance with current and future declines in global demand for oil and gas”. It will also continue to provide financing and advisory services to clients in the energy sector, but will review companies’ plans to transition to clean energy.
“This plan sets a new minimum level of ambition for all banks committed to the net zero emissions target,” said Jean Martin of the campaign group ShareAction. But he said the change “does not address the very high proportion of funding (HSBC) continues to provide to companies with oil and gas expansion plans.” He called for new proposals to resolve “as quickly as possible” the issue of corporate financing of energy companies.
Nonetheless, climate experts said the move was important.
Professor Timmons Roberts said, “Banks are doing everything they can, including reinforcing the status quo, ie fossil fuel-based infrastructure, or making changes at the pace and type that the science tells us is needed to address the climate change crisis.” necessary for.” at Brown University and director of the Climate Social Science Network. “That’s why big banks like this are something important, very important.”