HSBC requires clients to have coal exit plan by 2023
HSBC said it expects all its clients to have a plan in place to exit fossil fuel by the end of 2023.
Under its plan, Europe’s leading banker to corporate Asia will cut exposure to thermal coal financing by at least 25 percent by 2025 and then by 50 percent by 2030.
However, HSBC could fund non-EU or non-OECD-based clients until a global phase-out by 2040, the bank’s Chief Sustainability Officer Celine Herweijer said.
Pledging not to finance new coal-fired power plants or thermal coal mines, HSBC said the policy would help phase out existing coal use.
Herweijer said they need to tackle some of the hard issues head-on, such as coal, which contributes 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
She added that it’s not enough that they have a policy against new coal-fired power plants but need to address the urgent phase-out of coal alongside the scientific timelines.
HSBC has faced pressure from investors and activists to cut funding coal-powered projects.
While its peers, such as Standard Chartered and Natwest, have set tougher targets, HSBC is more exposed to coal-reliant energy clients and says it needs to work with them to help them shift to greener energy.