HSBC has warned companies that they will need a “robust and clear sustainability” strategy or they will find it increasingly difficult to get financing.
“You need to be green, otherwise you’re going to find it increasingly difficult to obtain capital from us and from the markets generally,” said HSBC Asia-Pacific head of global banking sustainability Jonathan Drew speaking at the ‘Hong Kong’s race towards a net-zero future’ panel discussion at the Rethink HK conference.
“Companies must have a good, robust, clear sustainability strategy and story, and communicate it clearly,” he commented.
Hong Kong’s government has targeted net zero by 2050 as part of global efforts to reduce emissions and tackle climate change. Companies and banks are beginning to feel the pressure to introduce initiatives that align with these targets.
HSBC has committed to reducing financed emissions in its portfolio to net zero by 2050 along with other banks across the globe such as London-based Standard Chartered, who intend to become the ‘world’s most sustainable and responsible bank’ and Singapore-based DBS.
Banks have rolled out initiatives to reduce financing to carbon-intensive sectors, such as oil and gas, as part of efforts to slash their carbon dioxide emissions and reach net zero within three decades.
Drew added: “There clearly is some short-term volatility, perhaps some interruption in the progress towards a more sustainable system. But longer term, it’s actually reinforcing the drivers to develop a more robust, resilient, affordable energy system.”
“Unlike the impact of recent crises like the Covid-19 pandemic or the conflict in Ukraine which can be managed in the short-term, the world cannot afford to lose sight of the long-term urgency of climate change,” said CLP Holdings CEP Richard Lancasterl.
“The pressure on climate change and climate action is building and accelerating,” said Lancaster. “This is not something that we can afford to lose sight of. And despite all the crises, we just have to manage out the best we can but keep the ball rolling and keep things moving,” he added.
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