27 May 2021

HSBC to fund Australia-first project with The Nature Conservancy Australia as part of US$100 million climate partnership

A milestone project announced today by HSBC and The Nature Conservancy Australia (TNC Australia) will accelerate the issuance of blue impact bonds and other assets that can be used to fight climate change and improve livelihoods in coastal regions.

The project, which is called Blue Impact Bonds for Nature, will be funded by an US$800,000 grant from HSBC. TNC Australia will use the grant to identify nature-based restoration activities which will improve livelihoods, biodiversity and climate change mitigation outcomes on the mid-north NSW coast.

The project will also establish a framework for capital market assets that can be used to raise conservation finance, in a further step toward establishing natural capital as an investment asset class.

Blue Impact Bonds for Nature is part of HSBC’s new global Climate Solutions Partnership, which will provide US$100 million in funding over five years to help climate-related companies and projects reach commercial viability.

The Australian-first project also builds on previous Mapping Ocean Wealth Australia research funded by HSBC and supported by TNC Australia. This research quantified both the economic contribution of our marine ecosystems and the role blue carbon plays in protecting the environment.

“Rehabilitation of coastal areas is an important factor in the transition to net zero, as it can increase carbon sequestration, create new fish habitats and improve resilience to flooding and rising sea levels,” said HSBC Australia’s Head of Sustainability, Alpa Bhattacharjee.

“Coastal restoration activities can also provide a direct boost to local employment and generate additional jobs in industries such as tourism and fishing,” Ms Bhattacharjee said.

Commenting on the research, Alison Rowe, Managing Director of TNC Australia, said: “We know that if we are to halt the decline of marine and coastal ecosystems and their many benefits we have to act within the next decade.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to mobilise private finance at unprecedented scales to support solutions that benefit nature, people and economies. There has never been a more exciting time to join forces with the private sector and governments to solve our biggest conservation challenges.”

The Climate Solutions Partnership is part of HSBC’s broader climate strategy announced in October 2020. HSBC aims to align its provision of finance to net zero by 2050 or sooner, in line with the Paris Agreement goals. It also expects to provide between US$750 billion and US$1 trillion of finance and investment by 2030 to support its customers in the transition to net zero, and has pledged to work with its customers in all sectors, and with peers, regulators, governments and others to effect change.

ABOUT THE HSBC CLIMATE SOLUTIONS PARTNERSHIP

The Climate Solutions Partnership was developed by HSBC in partnership with World Resources Institute and WWF, and aims to bring emerging climate solutions to commercial viability and scale.

It will work to remove barriers and create incentives in three areas:

  1. Energy transition: The partnership includes renewables and/or energy efficiency programmes to support Asia’s energy sector to shift towards renewables, and scale efficiency initiatives in key sectors – such as healthcare, textiles, and apparel.
  2. Nature-based solutions: Working with a network of local partners, these projects will contribute to net zero goals by better enabling natural CO2 capture, while increasing social and environmental resilience in markets most at risk from climate change – including wetlands, mangroves and forests.
  3. Business innovation: Start-up firms and next-generation technologies offer the potential to develop new approaches to cutting carbon emissions. Utilising WWF’s Impactio collaboration platform, the partnership will help support business innovations to scale, in collaboration with leading universities, research institutes, incubators and accelerators.

HSBC BANK AUSTRALIA

In Australia, the HSBC Group offers an extensive range of financial services through a network of 45 branches and offices. These services include retail and commercial banking, trade finance, treasury and financial markets, payments and cash management and securities custody. Principal HSBC Group members operating in Australia include HSBC Bank Australia Limited (ABN 48 006 434 162 AFSL/Australian Credit Licence 232595) and The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (ABN 65 117 925 970 and AFSL 301737).

THE NATURE CONSERVANCY AUSTRALIA

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organisation dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we focus on getting things done efficiently and with the greatest positive impact for conservation. We’re a trusted organisation working in 70 countries on innovative solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. Our priorities are to tackle climate change; protect land and water; provide food and water sustainably; and build healthy cities. To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Australia, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.

World Resources Insitute (WRI)
WRI is a global research organization that spans more than 60 countries, with international offices in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and the United States, regional offices in Ethiopia (for Africa) and the Netherlands (for Europe), and program offices in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our more than 1,400 experts and staff turn big ideas into action at the nexus of environment, economic opportunity and human well-being. More information at www.wri.org

World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)
WWF is one of the world’s largest independent conservation organisations, active in nearly 100 countries. Our supporters – more than five million of them – are helping us to restore nature and to tackle the main causes of nature’s decline, particularly the food system and climate change. We’re fighting to ensure a world with thriving habitats and species, and to change hearts and minds so it becomes unacceptable to overuse our planet’s resources.
WWF. For your world. For wildlife, for people, for nature. www.wwf.org.uk

Media enquiries:

Rebecca Searl
M: +61 481 060 837
E-mail: rebecca.searl@hsbc.com.au

Alison Kahler
M: +61 403 964 750
E-mail: alison.kahler@hsbc.com.au

Vanessa Billy
M: +61 478 638 180
E-mail: vanessa.billy@tnc.org