HSBC plans to phase out coal financing by 2040

Its resolution, which will need the support of 75% of shareholders, includes a commitment to set a clear, science-based strategy with short and medium term targets

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HSBC has set out plans to phase out the financing of coal-fired power and thermal coal mining in markets in the EU and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) by 2030 and in other markets by 2040, if backed by shareholders.

The banking giant’s net zero strategy currently aims to ensure all its investments are carbon neutral by 2050.

Its resolution, which will need the support of 75% of shareholders, includes a commitment to set a clear, science-based strategy with short and medium term targets to align HSBC’s provision of finance to the Paris climate agreement goals.

It will report progress on its net zero aligned finance strategy and on reducing its exposures to coal-fired power and thermal coal mining on an annual basis, using the 2020 Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) as its baseline.

The bank expects to provide between $750 billion (£536bn) and $1 trillion (£1tn) in financing and investment to support its customers to progressively decarbonise and help realise the opportunity for long term, sustainable growth.

HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn said: “We are delighted to be setting out the next phase of our net zero strategy in this resolution and invite our shareholders to support us on this journey.

“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 as we have shaped the detail of our plans to support the direct financing requirements of our corporate clients in the low carbon transition. This represents an unprecedented level of co-operation between a bank, shareholders and NGOs on a critical issue, with a positive outcome for all.”