2. Breaking today: Banking giant HSBC quits coal
New pledge: HSBC, one of the world's biggest banks, announced Friday that it will no longer finance construction of new coal-fired power plants, expanding on earlier restrictions laid out in 2011.
- The bank also said it will no longer support new oil-and-gas projects in the Arctic and new Canadian oil sands projects.
Why it matters: The Financial Times, which first reported the news, sums it up well: "[T]he move by Europe’s biggest bank underlines the mounting pressure from investors and regulators for lenders to step up their response to climate change."
Quoted: “We recognise the need to reduce emissions rapidly to achieve the target set in the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees Celsius and our responsibility to support the communities in which we operate," Daniel Klier, the bank's global head of strategy and sustainable finance, said in a statement.
Yes, but: HSBC said Bangladesh, Indonesia and Vietnam would be exempted from the coal policy in cases where "no reasonable alternative" is available, a carve-out designed to "balance local humanitarian needs with the need to transition to a low carbon economy."
Go deeper: Read HSBC's updated energy policy document here.