Investors to push HSBC to pull out of fossil fuel investments

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A group of investors is reportedly urging banking giant HSBC to reduce its financing of fossil fuels such as coal.

According to the Sunday Times, the coalition, which includes European fund manager Amundi and London-listed hedge fund Man Group, is aiming to table a resolution on the issue at April’s AGM.

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The campaign is being orchestrated by activist group Share Action, which is working for a “responsible investment system”.

In recent years, investors have become increasingly concerned with where their money is going as fears over climate change have risen.

Although HSBC has pledged to hit net-zero emissions by 2050, it is still one of the top two fossil fuel financiers in Europe, along with Barclays.

Environmental group Banking on Climate Change said that the lender put around £26bn into carbon-heavy industries in 2019.

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Back in October, chief executive Noel Quinn said that the pandemic had underlined the economic damage that climate change could do.

Speaking to Reuters, he said: “Covid has been a wake-up call to us all. We have seen how fragile the global economy is to a major event … and it brings home the reality of what a major climate event could do.”

Much of HSBC’s focus revolves around Asia, where coal power is still one of the primary sources of energy.

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Investors are understood to be pushing the bank to reduce its exposure to fossil fuels in line with the goals of the 2015 Paris climate accords.