HSBC is committing philanthropic funds to a coastal ecosystem project in Egypt, as part of the bank’s $100m global Climate Solutions Partnership.
The partnership is taking place with the World Resources Institute (WRI), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and a network of local partners on board.
The project is part of HSBC’s commitment to help scale-up high impact nature-based solutions to capture carbon dioxide and protect natural ecosystems.
Supporting nature-based solutions for climate action is one of three workstreams in HSBC’s Climate Solutions Partnership, announced in May 2021 alongside the WRI, WWF and a network of local partners.
It aims to unlock barriers to finance for companies and projects that tackle climate change, along with supporting start-up firms developing carbon-cutting technologies, and backing initiatives to help transition energy growth to renewables in Asia.
Todd Wilcox, HSBC Egypt Deputy Chairperson and CEO, said, “The Climate Solutions Partnership is powered by HSBC’s resources, knowledge and insight along three themes, namely scaling-up climate innovation ventures, promoting nature-based solutions and helping to transition the energy sector towards renewables, as part of the mission to achieve a net zero, resilient, and sustainable future.”
“This project is considered another key milestone in our commitment to develop a more sustainable future along the Red Sea coastline, following the establishment of the first sustainable fisherman village in Qulaan as well as the installation of the solar powered Water Filtration station in Abu Ghusun, giving the community the access to clean drinking water while preserving the surrounding ecosystem,” Wilcox added.
HSBC is working with the American University in Cairo’s (AUC) Center for Applied Research on the Environment and Sustainability (CARES) to enhance the environmental, social, and economic resilience of local communities along the Red Sea coastline. This is through the restoration and rehabilitation of mangrove ecosystems.
In doing so, they hope to mitigate climate change and drive socio-economic benefits such as eco-tourism and food security.
Professor Hani Sewilam, CARES Founding Director, added, “Egypt is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and urgent action is needed to mitigate and adapt to its dire effects.”
He added, “Our aim in this project is to expand its mangrove forests as a means for carbon sequestration, and also use it as opportunity to ensure the resilience of its ecosystem and local communities, by raising their capacities and creating jobs and new business opportunities tackling the most vulnerable challenges such as agriculture, aqua-culture and fisheries, water resources, human habitat and settlements.”
In addition to investing in nature based solutions for climate action, HSBC is also leveraging its network throughout the Middle East to identify start-up firms in the region developing carbon-cutting technologies. This comes as part of the climate innovation workstream within the bank’s global Climate Solutions Partnership.
The Climate Solutions Partnership is part of HSBC’s ambitious 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, and expects to provide up to $1trn of finance and investment by 2030 to support its customers in the net zero transition.
The bank has also pledged to work across the financial sector and beyond to accelerate solutions that will help avoid catastrophic climate change. The Climate Solutions Partnership represents a key plank of this strategy.