HSBC, the largest bank in Europe, announced it would stop financing coal projects almost entirely across the world.
The new policy will grant limited exceptions for Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam to allow the countries to “appropriately balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low-carbon economy.”
HSBC had already restricted coal financing in 78 developed countries back in 2011.
“Our updated energy policy reflects HSBC’s ambition to help our customers make the transition to a low-carbon economy in a responsible and sustainable way,” said Daniel Klier, group head of strategy and global head of sustainable finance. “We recognise the need to reduce emissions rapidly to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperatures rises to well below 2°C and our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate.”
The announcement also bars financial services for nuclear projects that do not follow International Atomic Energy Agency standards, new dams for hydro projects inconsistent with the World Commission on Dams Framework, offshore oil and gas projects in the Arctic and greenfield oil sands projects.