Responding to the announcement that HSBC is to spend $100bn combatting climate change, Christian Aid has said that the bank is throwing good money after bad by continuing to invest in fossil fuel projects.
Christian Aid’s Senior Policy Advisor, Suzanne Ismail, said: “While we welcome HSBC’s commitment to investing large sums in developing clean energy around the world we are flabbergasted that the bank is happy to continue investing in coal in developing countries – the very worst energy source when it comes to fuelling climate change.
“HSBC cannot call itself a leader in combatting climate change when other banks such as Deutsche Bank and ING have committed to pulling out of coal altogether. We can see very little that has changed today in HSBC’s investment policies on coal. If HSBC is serious about its leadership credentials it needs the courage to end their coal connections.
“We’re particularly concerned about the bank’s financing of coal across Asia. These polluting investment decisions are especially misguided considering the continent has a wealth of untapped renewable energy potential. Already we have seen the devastating effects of climate change in Asia, from Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines to this year’s floods affecting more than 40 million people in South Asia.
“We welcome HSBC’s commitment to implementing some of the recommendations by the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures but they also need to implement the recommendations on targets and metrics. Otherwise it will be impossible to assess the climate-related impacts and risks of the banks’ lending activities.”
Last week Christian Aid published polling by ComRes showing that 78% of the UK publiuc believe that investing in companies which cause dangerous climate change is morally wrong no matter how profitable it is: https://mediacentre.christianaid.org.uk/rowan-williams-says-banks-must-stop-profiting-from-climate-change-as-public-backs-action-on-those-that-damage-the-environment/
It coincided with a Christian Aid report into the fossil fuel investments of HSBC and other UK High Street banks: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/sites/default/files/2017-10/big-shift-moment-briefing.pdf
Christian Aid's Big Shift campaign is calling on UK banks to move their investments away from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives. Details here: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/campaigns/climate-change/the-big-shift
Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change (http://www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf) explains how we set about this task. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire