Global banking and financial services company HSBC announced today a series of new commitments, including aligning its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement. In addition, the bank set a new target to reach net zero carbon emissions in its own operations and supply chain by 2030.
Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn said:
“HSBC has long been committed to opening up opportunities for our customers and the communities we serve. As we enter a pivotal decade of change, we have a landmark opportunity to accelerate our efforts to build a healthier, more resilient and more sustainable future. Our net zero ambition represents a material step up in our support for customers as we collectively work towards building a thriving low carbon economy.”
The Paris Agreement is a multi-nation pact, drafted in 2015, developed by parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to combat climate change. The agreement’s main goal is to limit the global temperature increase in this century to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to work toward limiting the increase to 1.5 degrees.
By committing to align its financing activities to the Paris goals, HSBC is pledging that the carbon emissions of clients and projects financed by HSBC will be net zero by 2050 or sooner. This will involve working with customers in all sectors to develop tailored solutions to reduce emissions.
As part of its new climate initiative, HSBC stated that it will increasingly prioritise financing and investment that contributes to the low carbon transition and will apply a climate lens to financing decisions, including a new goal to support customers with between $750 billion and $1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to help with their transition. This represents a significant expansion the bank’s current target, set in 2017, to provide $100 billion of sustainable finance by 2025.
Other initiatives announced today by HSBC to help the banks reach its Paris-aligned goal include the creation of a $100 million venture debt fund for CleanTech innovation, and launching a philanthropic programme to donate $100 million to bring new solutions to viability and scale. Earlier this summer, HSBC also announced the formation of a joint venture with climate change-focused investment and advisory firm Pollination Group Holdings to create the world’s largest natural capital manager, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management.
HSBC is the second major bank this week to commit to moving to net zero financing. On Tuesday, JPMorgan announced that it would also align its financing activities with the goals of the Paris Agreement, as well as pledging to become carbon neutral in its own operations beginning this year.