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HSBC Sets Target To Phase Out All Coal Investments By 2040

HSBC Sets Target To Phase Out All Coal Investments By 2040
Provided that kits shareholders were supportive of its strategy to ramp up its climate change policies, HSBC will stop financing all coal projects by 2040, the bank has said.
This move was made by the British bank following sustained pressure on it by a coalition of investment firms and pension funds who demanded that the investor should take much stronger and aggressive measures to address the issue of climate change.
Since 2018, investment totalling about $15bn had been made by HSBC into coal projects, said Charity Shareaction, which led the activist investor group.
The decision of the investor group to support its new plan was welcomed by it, HSBC said.
The bank has already set a target of achieving "net zero" emissions and a strategy to that effect is already in place under which the company will stop making all investments in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emitting projects by 2050 and all its investment will instead be in carbon neutral ones.
However under the latest plans of the company to tackle climate change, it plans to  phase out financing for coal-fired power stations and thermal coal-mining by 2030- first within the European Union and later in other OECD countries, in a move that requires the support of 75 per cent the company’s shareholders. The bank said that the same strategy would be applied for the rest of the world by 2040.
The company has said that specific climate change targets that are aligned to the articles of the Paris Climate agreement related to imposing limits on global warming and emissions would be considered while deciding on funding of projects in various sectors including oil and gas.
This move at the bank follows years of pressure from Shareaction, which coordinated 15 investment firms with $2.4bn assets under management in its campaign. Amundi, which is a top 25 HSBC investor, Man Group, and Sarasin & Partners, are also parts of the shareholder group.
Initially, in order to force the bank to change its climate policies, bringing in its own resolution at HSBC's annual general meeting in May was planned by Shareaction. The shareholder however agreed to stop its plan of bringing its own resolution and back the bank's own resolution after months of talks with the bank and other shareholders. , it has agreed to drop its plan and back the bank's own resolution.
"We are pleased that ShareAction and a group of shareholders have agreed to support the resolution and would like to thank them for their positive ongoing engagement and constructive challenge and input,” said Noel Quinn, chief executive of HSBC.
"This represents an unprecedented level of co-operation between a bank, shareholders, and NGOs [non-governmental organisations] on a critical issue, with a positive outcome for all," Quinn added.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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