Today, during the Climate Finance Day summit in Paris, hundreds tweeted and demanded HSBC change the double standard in their coal policy. In March 2018, HSBC announced they’d stop funding coal – except for plants in Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam. We reminded them, there can be no exceptions: they cannot force the people of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Vietnam to breathe sulphur dioxide and smog while stopping coal financing in Europe.

Irfan Toni Herlambang, a campaigner for climate solutions with in Indonesia said:

“At fancy summits in Europe HSBC claims to care about the climate whilst here in Indonesia they fund burning coal. Coal-burning power plants stink up the air and accelerate climate change – having one standard in the rest of the world and another in Indonesia has a real stench to it.”


Local group Fossil Free Paris pointed out the double standard outside Paris’ old Stock Exchange, the summit venue. Photo | Olga Kravets

Activists outside the Paris summit brought this message – also supported by thousands of petition signers –  to the financiers entering the summit. HSBC needs to fix its coal policy: that means no exemptions. And it must go further and stop financing fossil fuels all together.


Sign the petition

HSBC has stated that coal is necessary to improve life in financially poor countries. This is simply not true. Coal will only make extreme weather patterns rattling the region today worse, and blanket local populations with air pollution. HSBC has changed before, with its March announcement, and it can change again. Given its size and influence, it can serve as a leader to other banks – rather than sending the signal that this double standard is acceptable.

Inside, HSBC’s Head of Sustainable Finance Daniel Klier acknowledged “green vs. brown” but failed to properly answer the demands. He even suggested that individual investment might be the solution.


We haven’t heard back from HSBC yet, but we know that large banks like HSBC need to own their responsibility for the climate crisis and stop all fossil fuel investment. For HSBC, that means closing this policy loophole. In the next few months, people will continue action like this against HSBC and further expose their involvement in fossil fuels.

Now it’s the time to spread the message and get your friends to sign the petition.

Tell HSBC to end all coal funding