HSBC bankrolling climate change
At HSBC's AGM tomorrow (Friday 24th May) at the Barbican Centre, WDM bar staff will be on hand at a Carbon Bubbles bar, ready to serve oil from champagne glasses, while protesters hold placards reading ‘HSBC stop bankrolling climate change’.
You can join our campaign by emailing HSBC boss Brian Robertson and asking him to pledge that they will report on the emissions they are financing around the world.
Campaigners are highlighting HSBC’s involvement in financing dirty energy projects around the world.
For example, HSBC supports the Cerrejon coal mine in Colombia. Latin America’s largest coal mine, it has swallowed up entire villages and is subject to fierce local opposition. If the coal remaining in this mine were to be burned it would create 13,000,000,000 of CO2 emissions – 184 times the annual emissions of Colombia. Yet most of the coal is destined for export, including to the UK.
HSBC is also the most important British bond underwriter of Total, having underwritten bonds with a total value of £1,459 million since 2009. Bonds are a very important source of finance for Total, enabling it to carry out exploration into new areas. For example, in Madagascar, where Total has a 60 per cent stake in the Bemolanga tar sands block. Tar sands are one of the most polluting and carbon intensive forms of energy production. It is estimated that after 30 years of oil production government of Madagascar will only be receiving four percent of the oilrevenues.
HSBC is also providing financing for Exxon Mobil, which is leading a consortium planning the controversial Liquefied natural Gas (LNG) production in Papa New Guinea. And for Tullow Oil, a UK-based oil company operating in Ghana and Uganda.
The World Development Movement is calling on HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver to release data on the carbon emissions released by the oil, coal and gas projects it finances.
New rules coming into force in April will mean banks have to report the carbon emissions from their London offices, but they will not be required to report the much greater climate change impact of the dirty energy projects they finance across the world.
Kirsty Wright, senior climate campaigner at the World Development Movement, said:“HSBC is financing dirty energy projects around the world. Without the bonds and loans that banks like HSBC arrange, fossil fuel companies would not be able to continue with destructive projects like the Cerrejon coal mine and Madagascan tar sands exploration. HSBC must take its share of the responsibility for these projects, and clean up its portfolio.”
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