If you were in despair over the image of Craig Reucassel strapped with carbon balloons, chasing our hapless fossil fuel loving PM barefoot down a Bondi beach, this news will resuscitate you.
Global financier and investor bank, HSBC has announced a joint venture with a relatively new climate capital and advisory company, Pollination. The new JV, HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management has been formed for the specific purpose of seeking natural capital projects and the pair state that they have partnered with the ambition to create the world’s largest dedicated natural capital asset management company.
"THE SIMPLE TRUTH IS UNDERSTOOD: FAILING TO INVEST IN THE RESILIENCE OF NATURE MEANS FAILING TO INVEST IN THE RESILIENCE OF THE ECONOMY. NATURE IS NOW THE MOST FERTILE INVESTMENT WE HAVE."
HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management intends to establish a series of natural capital funds, investing in a diverse range of activities that preserve, protect andenhance nature, and address climate change:
The first fund, which aims to launch mid 2021, will look to raise up to US$1 billion followed by a carbon credit fund at up to US$2 billion. HSBC intends to become a cornerstone investor in the first fund.
The importance of funds investment houses backing ecological and climate mitigation projects can't be understated. Not least of all because we are at a climate tipping point, but most importantly because our biggest governments are failing us. At the same time, ventures like HSBC Pollination Climate Asset Management, when coupled with recent cases like those of O'Donnell v. Commonwealth demonstrate just how much power is shifting to citizens via those who often represent our money.
With that shift, the nexus of responsibility and law are driving both the prosecution of poor climate behaviour and investment in better behaviour. And importantly, with these changes, citizens increasingly understand just how much they can influence what has previously seemed at best to be an untouchable agenda and at worst a pocket lining agenda for a few, at the expense of us all. Pollination Group's co-founder Martijn Wilder, who is also a climate lawyer, recently echoed one of the key ass kicking points of both the court challenge and the mood of citizens:
“THE LAW IS CLEAR, DIRECTORS HAVE A LIABILITY TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT CLIMATE RISK, I THINK IF DIRECTORS FAIL TO DO THAT, YOU’LL INCREASINGLY SEE RESOLUTIONS FROM SHAREHOLDERS TO REMOVE THOSE DIRECTORS.”
Recent analysis by the Energy Policy Tracker, estimated that across all G20 countries since the outbreak of Covid-19, that $US151 billion of public funds had been poured into the fossil fuel sector - almost twice the amount provided to the clean energy sector, who got $US 88.6 billion.
Australia, as the third largest exporter of fossil fuels in the world gave $US479 million in financial support since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic to the fossil fuel industry, compared to just $US122 million to clean energy projects.
Australia Institute’s climate and energy director Richie Merzian was mentioned in Renew Economy saying:
“AUSTRALIA IS WORSE THAN THE UNITED STATES IN PROPORTIONAL SUPPORT FOR FOSSIL FUELS OVER CLEAN ENERGY AND SHOULD LOOK TO THE UNITED KINGDOM AS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW TO PRIORITISE THE ENERGY SYSTEMS OF THE FUTURE, VERSUS ENTRENCHING THOSE OF THE PAST.”
The Australian Climate Roundtable, a forum that brings together leading organisations from the business, farming, investment, union, social welfare and environmental sectors also met this week and put out a statement urging government to respond to seven broad recommendations.
The group notes that Australia is currently woefully unprepared for the scale of climate change threats that will emerge over the coming decades and that there is no systemic government response (federal, state and local) to build resilience to climate risks. Action is piecemeal; uncoordinated; does not engage business, private sector investment, unions, workers in affected industries, community sector and communities; and does not match the scale of the threat climate change represents to the Australian economy, environment and society.
Image: Unsplash | Maikel Oosterink (HSBC Rain Votex at Singapore Airport)