Like banks in other countries, Italy’s biggest banks are dragging their feet on bringing fossil fuel financing to an end. One bank, Unicredit, has made progress but recently breached its own coal policies. Another, Intesa Sanpaolo, hasn’t even tried.
This is what campaign pressure can achieve. A private equity mogul has left the Biden administration’s climate team after an outcry from campaigners.
Wimbledon may be over for another year, but championship sponsor HSBC continues to serve up financing for fossil fuel companies. Just as well there was plenty of activist action over the last couple of weeks to remind everyone of HSBC’s contribution to the climate crisis.
The climate movement is not alone in pushing banks to quit their fossil fuel addiction. A group of investors, led by influential campaign group ShareAction, has written to major banks around the world, urging them to move much faster in ending their support of fossil fuel companies. With international climate and environment meetings on the horizon, this latest move puts banks under even more pressure to act quickly.
HSBC’s annual shareholder meeting on Friday was a mixed bag, with one step towards effective climate policies offset by two steps back. On the one hand, the climate resolution was voted through. On the other, HSBC executives were evasive on climate questions from shareholders.