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HSBC gives $21.7m to fight climate change
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HSBC, the world's first bank to go carbon neutral, has pledged $21.7 million to help the country fight global climate change.


The bank launched a climate change program for China in Beijing yesterday, together with four global environmental organizations - the Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Worldwide Fund for Nature.


The Chinese program is part of the bank's $100 million five-year Climate Partnership program launched in May with the same four partners to tackle climate change worldwide.


HSBC's investment in the program is the largest corporate donation received by any of the four environmental organizations.


It became the first "carbon neutral" bank in 2005 when it reached the international standard for emissions reduction.


The program aims to help reinforce the country's efforts on energy conservation and emissions reduction and to combat the impact of climate change on forests, fresh water, cities and people.


"The environment and sustainable development is key to HSBC's business development strategy. HSBC is proud to work together with four world-class organizations to jointly explore practical measures of addressing climate change issues with the support of the government as well as the participation of enterprises and the general public," said Richard Yorke, president and chief executive officer of HSBC China Co Ltd.


The local program will fund research into the nation's subtropical and temperate forests, aiming to strengthen understanding of the relationship between forests and climate change.


The program will also help to restore 3,000 sq km of wetlands in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River and to improve the adaptability of the drainage area to climate change and mitigate potential disasters brought by extreme weather conditions.


"We hope that through the city and region-focused program we can provide government and corporate decision-makers with solid analyses and recommendations to steer policies, investments and technologies toward a climate-friendly future," said Wu Changhua, Greater China director of program partner the Climate Group.


The program will also help to conduct studies in Beijing, Shanghai and the Pan-Pearl River Delta region on models of energy-efficient cities, and to improve the resilience and adaptability of the ecological system in delta regions.


Headquartered in London, HSBC operates the largest branch network of foreign banks on the mainland.


(China Daily December 5, 2007)

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