HSBC unveils US$100 million climate change initiative
Half of funding targets next-generation nature-based solutions and technologies in Asia-Pacific
20 May 2021 | The Asset

Backed by US$100 million of philanthropic funding from HSBC over five years, the bank, in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF, has unveiled its Climate Solutions Partnership initiative that aims to unlock financial barriers for companies and projects that tackle climate change, with approximately half of funding going towards projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

This partnership will combine the bank’s financial and commercial expertise with the knowledge and insights of WRI, WWF and a network of local partners in the region to support and scale new climate solutions.

“Keeping global temperature rises within safe limits requires new thinking and new technology,” says Peter Wong, HSBC’s deputy chairman and chief executive. “Asia is particularly vulnerable to climate change, but it is also where solutions are emerging fast. We are proud to be able to support the search for more efficient ways to use energy, nature-based solutions and technologies to build a greener region.”

The partnership spans 14 markets in Asia-Pacific, including Australia, India, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, mainland China, South Korea and Vietnam, and it will focus on three workstreams  energy transition, nature-based solutions, and business innovations.

Climate change will be the defining crisis of the century for Asia, according to HSBC Global Research. Rising sea levels are inundating metropolises like Bangkok, Jakarta and Mumbai, while increasingly erratic weather jeopardizes food security in the region.

A 1-degree Celsius increase in temperature reduces mainland China’s crop yield by 10%, while a 5-metre rise in sea levels will displace over 160 million people and slash GDP by 9%. Ignoring the human impact on climate will delay reducing inequality and achieving sustainable long-term growth in the region.

The Climate Solutions Partnership is part of HSBC’s climate strategy, announced in October 2020, in which the bank aims to align its provision of finance to net zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the Paris agreement goals. And it expects to provide up to US$1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to support its customers in the net-zero transition. The bank has also pledged to work across the financial sector and beyond to accelerate solutions that will help avoid catastrophic climate change.