Asia-focused bank HSBC announced Friday that it aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions across its investments by 2050, but campaigners accused it of falling short on tackling climate change.

“HSBC has both the scale and global reach to play a leading role in guiding its customers through this transition and helping them to achieve this ambitious goal,” the lender said in a statement.

Its target is to “align its financed emissions — the carbon emissions of its portfolio of customers — to the Paris Agreement goal to achieve net zero by 2050 or sooner”.

“The bank also aims to be net zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030.”

Europe’s biggest bank added that it has earmarked between $750 billion and $1.0 trillion of finance and investment to assist the transition.

CEO Noel Quinn called the 2020s a “pivotal decade of change” towards “a healthier, more resilient and more sustainable future”.

The 2015 Paris agreement saw nations commit to limiting global warming to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

London-listed HSBC meanwhile follows in the footsteps of rival Barclays, which committed in March to zero-carbon by 2050 under pressure from its shareholders to help tackle climate change.

Campaigners complain that HSBC continues to fund fossil fuel projects including coal power Campaigners complain that HSBC continues to fund fossil fuel projects including coal power Photo: AFP / GREG BAKER

Environmental campaign groups however gave a sceptical response to HSBC’s announcement on Friday, arguing that the bank should cease support for coal, gas and oil activities.

“HSBC’s net-zero commitment is a bit like saying you’ll give up smoking by 2050, but continuing to buy a pack a week, or even smoking more,” said Becky Jarvis, coordinator of campaign group network Fund Our Future UK.

“Any further financing of oil, gas, and coal expansion today is utterly at odds with a net-zero commitment by 2050.

Carbon Sequestration-as-a-Service (CSaaS) can make “Carbon-free Shopping” as ubiquitous as “Free Shipping” is today, but to do so, a lot of infrastructure needs to get built. The football field-sized plants that pull CO2 out of the air for sequestration or reuse air don’t appear with the wave of a hand. Someone has to fund, plan, build, and operate them.

With all due respect to Mr. Software-is-eating-the-world, Marc Andreesen, a cool app can’t cool the planet. Software may be part of the solution, but software alone just doesn’t cut it – a new physical infrastructure must be developed.

That means building hard assets.

The absolute necessity for a hard asset build-out is why the other two of Carbon Engineering’s three recent big press releases particularly caught my attention. These announced that CE had agreed to grant national licenses for its world-leading Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology to two development companies – one in the U.S. and one in the U.K.

Both licensees are backed by some deep-pocketed and savvy investors who understand three facts:

  1. Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology is commercially viable today,
  2. Carbon Engineering’s DAC technology is an absolutely essential tool (read paragraph C1.1.) in climate change mitigation, and
  3. Scaling up Carbon Engineering’s insights represents an awesome commercial opportunity (as well as being a moral imperative).

The US organization is a start-up named 1PointFive after the reference in the Paris Climate Agreement to “…pursue efforts to limit the [average global] temperature increase…to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

1PointFive founder and CEO is

(Bloomberg) —

China’s massive renewable energy industry has seen shares soar since President Xi Jinping announced the country aims to go carbon neutral by 2060.

That surge continued Friday as mainland-listed solar giants like Longi Green Energy Technology Co. and Tongwei Co. jumped in their first trading after a week-long holiday during which some peers in Hong Kong posted gains of more than 20%.



chart, line chart: Renewable energy stocks in Hong Kong soar on Xi's carbon-neutral goal


© Bloomberg
Renewable energy stocks in Hong Kong soar on Xi’s carbon-neutral goal

The furious rally illustrates the growth potential investors see in Beijing’s effort to go from the world’s biggest polluter to carbon neutrality. The shift could require anywhere from $5 trillion to $15 trillion in investment, much of it in wind- and solar-power generation.

Read more about Asian renewable stocks’ great performance this year.

The premium that mainland stocks, known as A-shares, normally have over Hong Kong counterparts has narrowed during the trading holiday, said Dennis Ip, an analyst with Daiwa Capital Markets. “So it’s very likely that A-shares of solar companies are going to have very good performances” on Friday.

China is home to the most solar panels and wind turbines in the world, and is also the leading manufacturer of both. Its companies are technology leaders in photovoltaic panels, which are seen as the leading source of future power, according to BloombergNEF.

Video: Chevron CEO Mike Wirth on oil prices going negative in April (CNBC)

Chevron CEO Mike Wirth on oil prices going negative in April

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Government officials are already considering proposals to accelerate adoption of clean energy, which would boost installations of solar and wind, in its next five-year plan, which begins in 2021.

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Friday’s mainland gains include:

Longi, which makes wafers, cells and panels and is the world’s largest solar company by market

By Simon Jessop

LONDON (Reuters) – Dutch lender ING <INGA.AS> has sharply cut the carbon emissions linked to its lending to the power industry over the past year after reducing funding to coal-fired power plants and boosting financing for renewable energy, it said on Thursday.

ING said it had reduced its direct exposure to coal-fired power plants by 22% and increased renewable power generation financing by 1.9 billion euros in 2019.

ING is part of a small group of banks seeking to lead the way in aligning a combined 2.4 trillion euros in lending with the 2015 Paris climate agreement, aiming to keep global warming well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial norms by 2050.

Along with BBVA, BNP Paribas, Standard Chartered and Societe Generale and non-profit think tank the 2° Investing Initiative, ING has begun developing science-based methods and tools to help them measure their impact and guide lending decisions.

A key aim of the group is to be open about their efforts, in the hope other banks will follow their lead. After an inaugural report last year, the report on Wednesday is the first time that ING has been able to evidence its year-on-year progress.

For each of nine high-emitting sectors, ING has defined a multi-year pathway over which the emissions-intensity of its lending – the level of emissions per unit of economic activity – must change in order to meet the climate goals.

The biggest improvement was in the impact of the bank’s lending to the power generation sector, where carbon intensity – measured by kilograms of CO2 per megawatt hour – was now 14.9% below the target pathway and ahead of schedule.

Steel and cement sector-linked emissions intensity were 0.6% and 0.9% below their pathways, respectively, although both form a relatively smaller part of the bank’s

By Ron Bousso

LONDON (Reuters) – Royal Dutch Shell <RDSa.L> and BP <BP.L> have lost over half of their market value so far this year, with both shares hitting 25-year lows this week, battered by weak oil prices and investor concerns over their plans to shift to low-carbon energy.

Exxon Mobil, the largest U.S. oil company, which is set to report its third straight quarterly loss at the end of this month, has seen its shares dive 52% since the start of the year.

Oil companies are squeezed by a steep drop in oil prices due to the COVID-19 pandemic combined with growing investor pressure to align their businesses with the 2015 Paris agreement to limit global warming.

Responding to the pressure, Europe’s top companies outlined strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades, with BP and Italy’s Eni <ENI.MI> planning to rapidly cut oil output by 2030.

BP CEO Bernard Looney, reacting in a LinkedIn post to the drop in BP shares this week, said that there is “a very significant need to change bp.”

“I think – if anything – the share price performance of the sector is a robust case for change in itself,” Looney wrote.

(Graphic: Oil majors share performance – https://fingfx.thomsonreuters.com/gfx/ce/xegvbjwxkvq/Pasted%20image%201601637582541.png)

Yet investors remain sceptical.

“The majors are struggling to convince any investor at the moment,” said Jason Kenney, analyst at Santander, who has a “buy” rating on all European oil majors.

“There is a phenomenal give-up on the valuation of these companies… it is astonishing.”

Investors are fleeing the sector because of uncertainty over the global economic recovery in the near term and doubts about the profitability of companies’ transition plans in the longer term, Kenney said.

“With the COVID-19 backdrop and the uncertain economic outlook, it is challenging to be confident,”