Texas Adds HSBC to Energy Sanctions List

Image copyright: Reuters

The Facts

  • On Monday, Texas added HSBC Holdings to its list of financial firms that are allegedly boycotting the oil and gas industry in light of Europe's largest bank's new fossil fuel funding policy.

  • This comes after HSBC's December announcement that it will no longer provide new finance and advisory services for projects pertaining to new oil and gas fields as part of its updated climate strategy.

The Spin

Republican narrative

Prioritizing ESG, which is part of progressives' effort to promote woke capitalism, leads financial firms to discount their financial duties. Such policies don't just promote liberal priorities ranging from renewable energy to the Black Lives Matter movement, they lead to disinvestment in fossil fuel companies that provide tax revenue and jobs.

Democratic narrative

ESG considers the financial costs of environmental damage and social upheaval; it doesn't in any way prioritize political or ideological objectives. With ESG funds expected to see massive growth in the coming years, US states can attract investors by highlighting projects and companies with a favorable climate or social impact.

Narrative C

HSBC's annual lending to fossil fuel projects is to the tune of $20B. In the past, the bank's executives have downplayed climate change risks. Moreover, HSBC will continue to finance existing fossil fuel projects in line with current and future declining global oil and gas demand, which is why labeling HSBC as a financial company that prioritizes ESG issues is misplaced.

Nerd narrative

There's a 75% chance that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement before 2029, if a Republican wins the 2024 US presidential Election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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