HSBC tells clients to plan coal exit for 2030

HSBC has stated that by the end of 2023, all of its clients must have a plan in place to divest from coal.

Europe’s biggest banker to corporate Asia outlined its goal for reducing emissions in the worldwide fight against climate change in its much-anticipated policy on financing thermal coal. On Tuesday, the policy was made public.

Coal is a hot topic among Asian nations as they seek to transition away from the inexpensive and widely used, but carbon-intensive energy source and toward greener alternatives.

HSBC’s plan calls for a 25% reduction in thermal coal financing by 2025 and a 50% reduction by 2030, while non-EU or non-OECD clients might be supported until a global phase-out by 2040, according to its sustainability boss.

HSBC said the policy would help to phase out existing coal use in line with climate change science, building on its existing vow not to finance new coal-fired power plants or thermal coal mines. It said the targets would be reviewed annually.

“We need to tackle some of the hard issues head-on. Coal is one of the big issues. It contributes 25 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions,” HSBC Group’s chief sustainability officer Celine Herweijer said.

The targets would be reassessed on an annual basis, according to the statement.

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