XR activists bring HSBC’s annual meeting to a halt in protest against its ‘shameful climate policies’


FRIDAY, MAY 5, 2023 https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/

Climate protesters disrupt the annual general meeting of HSBC in Birmingham

APROFITEERING bank’s annual meeting was brought to a halt as 50 protesters invaded it to expose its “shameful climate policies” today.

The protest, organised by Extinction Rebellion Midlands and Money Rebellion campaigns, took place at the annual meeting of HSBC bank in Birmingham after it announced quarterly profits of $12.9 billion (£9bn).

In a turbulent meeting, one protester stood up and accused the bank of being “chief arsonists” in the climate crisis.

Other protesters accused the bank of “greenwashing” its image to cover up its environmentally destructive investments including in fossil fuel exploitation.

Outside the meeting, a protester wearing a suit was pictured sitting in a green bath which had a sign reading: “HSBC greenwashing” on its side.

The man was covered in green paint and surrounded by protesters dressed as cleaning staff while a green flare had been let off.

Another protester accused the bank of funding a company which was bulldozing a village in Germany to expand a coal mine.

They unfurled banners, sang songs and accused the bank of “climate genocide and lies.”

HSBC chairman Mark Tucker and chief executive Noel Quinn asked security to escort the protesters from the room.

Protest organisers said HSBC had invested $145bn (£116bn) in fossil fuels since the 2016 Paris Agreement on action against climate change.

Jamie Russell, of Extinction Rebellion Midlands, said: “In December, HSBC pledged to stop investing in new oil and gas projects.

“But this turned out to be pure greenwash as HSBC has continued to pour billions into fossil fuel companies that are expanding oil and gas infrastructure in ways that are incompatible with a liveable planet.

“It is a death sentence for our kids and for millions of families already suffering in the global South.

“HSBC’s greenwashing climate pledges aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. It is making record profits while bankrolling climate chaos.

“HSBC is one of the world’s biggest banks, but that won’t protect it from climate breakdown. There are no banker bonuses on a dead planet.”

Andrew Taylor from Money Rebellion said: “HSBC continues to fund new devastating coal, oil and gas projects.

“These projects destroy the health and livelihoods of communities who live near them, and are fuelling climate chaos.”

The protest was part of a series staged at companies’ annual meetings including BP, Drax, Barclays and Standard Chartered.