April 21, 2024
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HSBC: UK Regulators removed climate change adverts

Due to two HSBC adverts being “misleading” regarding the company’s efforts to combat climate change, the UK’s advertising regulator has banned them.

The Banking Giant Could No Longer Run The Ads Promoting Its Plans To Reduce Harmful Emissions, According To The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

According to the watchdog, the posters “omitted critical information” regarding HSBC’s operations.

It represents the ASA’s initial response to “greenwashing” by a bank.

According to an HSBC representative, the financial industry must explain to the public how it contributes to the low-carbon transition to engage its clients and increase public awareness.

By labeling something as eco-friendly, green, or sustainable when it is not, a practice known as “greenwashing,” consumers believe they are doing their part to protect the environment.

In the months leading up to the highly anticipated United Nations COP26 climate change summit, the advertisements were visible at bus stations in Bristol and London last October.

The advertisements described HSBC’s initiatives to plant trees and assist its clients in achieving “net zero” emissions. By reducing emissions and attempting to achieve net zero, greenhouse gases are not added to those already present in the atmosphere.

The ASA claimed that the advertisements left out crucial details about HSBC’s role in carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.

The regulator continued that customers wouldn’t anticipate HSBC to make unqualified claims about its environmentally beneficial operations.

HSBC is financing businesses that contribute significantly to carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions.

The actions taken by HSBC to combat climate change have recently come under scrutiny.

HSBC continues to fund oil and gas projects 

Campaigners charged in February that despite being a member of a green banking association, giant banks, including HSBC, were pouring billions of dollars into new oil and gas extraction.

ShareAction, a London-based organization, urged banks to require green plans from fossil fuel companies before funding them.

ShareAction reported that since 24 major banks joined the Net Zero Banking Alliance last year, $33 billion (£29.1 billion) in new oil and gas project funding has been available.

The bank was then “dedicated to helping with our customers to facilitate a transition towards a vibrant low carbon economy,” according to an HSBC representative.

Meanwhile, a top HSBC executive in May stirred much debate when he claimed that central bankers and other government figures had exaggerated the risks posed by climate change.

“There’s always some nut job warning me about the end of the world,” said Stuart Kirk, the asset management division of the bank’s global head of responsible investing.

His position required him to consider how investments might affect social, political, and environmental challenges. He was stationed in London.

Mr. Kirk left the bank in July, claiming that his remarks rendered his job untenable.

Banker resigns over “nut job” climate speech

A top HSBC executive has resigned after accusing officials and central bankers of misrepresenting the financial concerns associated with climate change.

There’s always some nut job informing me about the end of the world, claimed Stuart Kirk, the bank’s global head of ethical investing. Kirk was fired in May.

He said that his position was no longer “viable” due to his remarks.

Based in London, Mr. Kirk’s job involves analyzing how investments might affect social, environmental, and governance issues.

Read Also: US Senate approves legislation on climate change

In his letter of resignation, he claimed that during his 27-year career in finance, media, and consultancy, he had never failed to put his customers and readers first.

He emphasized the dangers of significant floods in his speech and stated that he needed to spend his time “looking at something that’s going to happen in 20 or 30 years.”

Mr. Kirk claimed throughout the 15-minute speech that we shouldn’t be concerned about the financial risk posed by climate change.

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