In 2018, HSBC permitted itself to continue lending to new coal power station in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam, but the loophole has now been removed. Image: The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) on Friday announced it would no longer finance new coal power stations anywhere globally, closing loopholes enshrined in its previous energy policy that allowed the London-headquartered lender to bankroll coal projects in certain developing nations. Responding to shareholders’ questions online amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the finance group stated it had amended its policy aimed at phasing out coal support, removing the previous exemption of Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam, which was slammed by activist groups in 2018 as experts warned no new fossil fuel power plant could be built if climate change was to be kept at bay. HSBC said while its now obsolete energy guidelines had permitted loans to coal projects in these emerging markets to “balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low carbon economy”, it had not financed any new coal projects anywhere since. The new policy means the bank will cease its involvement in funding Long Phu 1, a planned coal project in Vietnam for which it was […]

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