Banks aren’t obvious culprits behind climate change.
Energy and transport get more attention.
But big lenders are big employers, with carbon footprints to match.
And they finance the industries that do take the blame.
Now HSBC says it’s going to do its bit to change.
Speaking to Reuters, chief executive Noel Quinn said the bank would target net zero carbon emissions in its own operations by 2030, and across its customer base by 2050 at the latest.
It will also provide up to 1 trillion dollars in financing to help clients make the transition.
Other European banks like the UK’s NatWest have made similar promises.
But HSBC’s aim to achieve the goal right across its Asian client base makes for a much more ambitious target.
Environmentalists aren’t convinced, however.
They want HSBC to immediately stop financing fossil fuel-based projects.
But the bank didn’t say whether it would tighten lending to the coal industry - still the key energy source for many Asian economies.
One environmental campaigner said that made its plans more zero ambition than zero carbon.
Rivals including France’s BNP Paribas are seen to have gone further in ending finance for fossil fuels.
Quinn responds that HSBC’s net-zero goal covers all sectors, and will do more than focusing on any one industry or sector.
He says the bank will deliver measurable progress, with regular updates.
Climate change campaigners will be watching.