PRESS RELEASE

Asian alliance calls on UN climate fund to shun HSBC, Crédit Agricole

Both banks fund dirty energy, say civil society groups

LIVINGSTONE, Zambia, 2 November 2015 – As the last Green Climate Fund board meeting before the Paris climate conference begins here today, an Asian alliance of social movements joined over a hundred civil society groups worldwide in calling for the main UN climate fund to reject the partnership bids of two European banking giants – the British HSBC and French Crédit Agricole.

“If the Green Climate Fund is serious about helping developing countries cope with climate change, it must not partner with these dirty energy financiers,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.

“It already tarnished its reputation by accrediting the World Bank and Deutsche Bank as its intermediaries in the July board meeting – that board must not let what remains of that reputation go up in smoke now, less than a month before Paris,” she added.

APMDD and other groups released a statement today which detailed the two banks’ well-documented involvement in recent money laundering and other scandals, their large exposure to coal and other polluting industries, and their anti-people and anti-environment policies.

The groups stated that HSBC and Crédit Agricole rank among the top 20 private sector banks financing coal. HSBC channeled almost EUR 8 billion while Crédit Agricole gave EUR 7 billion to the coal sector between 2005 and April 2014, according to BankTrack data.

Both banks also financed non-fossil-fuel sectors with a large negative impact on climate, citing HSBC as a major financier of Indonesia’s palm oil sector.

"The use of palm oil for biofuel is a false solution to climate change because the logging and burning of rainforests and peatlands released a lot of carbon emissions. Moreover, communities and farmlands are being displaced, leaving more people homeless and hungry," said Jefri Saragih, executive director of Sawit (Palm Oil) Watch, an APMDD member organization based in Bogor, Indonesia.

“HSBC may be a founding member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, but that means little if it continues to bankroll dirty and harmful energy,” he added.

The GCF was founded under the United Nations climate convention to redistribute money for climate adaptation and mitigation from developed to developing countries. Over $10 billion is currently pledged to the fund.

If the GCF board approves the banks as their “accredited entities”, they will be able to receive and disburse funds to support adaptation and mitigation in developing countries.

The groups also noted in their statement that the vast majority of GCF resources are expected to flow through international and developed-country entities, even though the funds are supposed to prioritize national banks and other institutions, particularly those in developing countries.

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NOTES TO EDITORS:

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and nongovernmental organizations.

The final draft of the civil society statement against the accreditation of HSBC and Crédit Agricole, including an updated list of endorsers, is at http://ow.ly/U7BNR. Among the co-endorsers of APMDD and several of its members are 350.org; ActionAid USA; Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development; Corporate Europe Observatory; Friends of the Earth; Pan African Climate Justice Alliance; and Third World Network.

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