By Lawrence White, Sinead Cruise and Simon Jessop
LONDON (Reuters) – Central financial institution policymakers and different international authorities are exaggerating the monetary dangers of local weather change, a senior HSBC banker in control of sustainable investments stated in remarks that drew criticism from local weather activists.
The financial institution stated his views didn’t replicate these of HSBC as an entire.
“Unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are ALWAYS wrong,” Stuart Kirk, HSBC’s head of accountable investing, wrote on a slide accompanying his presentation at a convention in London on Thursday alongside quotations from our bodies such because the United Nations and Financial institution of England warning of the dangers.
Kirk stated that such warnings meant his staff and HSBC generally are spending a disproportionate period of time coping with local weather danger, versus different challenges.
“We’ve got inflation coming down the pipes and I’m being told to spend time and time again looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years, the proportionality is completely out of whack,” he instructed the convention hosted by the Monetary Instances, which posted on-line a video recording of the occasion.
Nicolas Moreau, Chief Government of HSBC Asset Administration, instructed Reuters by way of a spokesperson that Kirk’s remarks didn’t signify the corporate’s views.
“HSBC regards climate change as one of the most serious emergencies facing the planet,” Moreau stated in an e-mail despatched by way of a spokesperson.
HSBC Asset Administration oversees some $640 billion in property, in response to the corporate web site.
Kirk didn’t reply to a request for remark despatched by way of LinkedIn.
Kirk’s feedback drew criticism from activist teams which have campaigned for HSBC and different monetary companies to scale back their funding of the fossil fuels trade and toughen their local weather pledges.
“This should raise red flags to any clients of HSBC that care about net-zero,” Jeanne Martin, marketing campaign supervisor at accountable funding NGO Share Motion, tweeted.
Beau O’Sullivan, senior campaigner on the Financial institution on our Future marketing campaign, referred to as the feedback “regressive and grossly flawed”, including local weather change posed a cloth danger to monetary property.
(Reporting by Lawrence White, Sinead Cruise and Simon Jessop; modifying by Barbara Lewis)