London — HSBC will no longer provide new lending or capital markets finance for new oil and gas fields, the British bank said on Wednesday, as part of a wider update to its energy policy.
The bank said it will continue funding natural gas projects for now, given the global energy crisis and the pressures placed on supply by the war in Ukraine.
HSBC has said it seeks to align its financed emissions to net zero by 2050 or sooner in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change, meaning it will help clients reduce their use of fossil fuels and reduce funding to the sector.
HSBC has already set out plans to cut exposure to thermal coal financing and to stop funding that industry via investment funds it manages actively, as part of its broader climate commitments.
The bank has come under sustained pressure over the speed of its embrace of sustainability in recent years, including protests at its annual shareholder meeting and widespread media campaigns highlighting its funding of fossil fuels.
It also in May faced queries from customers about its commitment to fight climate change after its global head of responsible investing downplayed the risks, before subsequently leaving the bank.
*Lawrence White, Editing: Iain Withers & Louise Heavens – Reuters
Follow us on twitter