HSBC to cut lending to questionable oil palm and logging companies
Rhett A. Butler, mongabay.com
December 2, 2008
Following criticism by the Forest Peoples Program, an indigenous rights' group, over its failure to disclose the names of its palm oil industry clients, Francis Sullivan, HBSC's adviser on the environment, told Reuters than the bank would terminate relationships with forestry companies having questionable environmental practices.
"We're planning to exit 30 percent of client relationships in the forest land and forest products sector in high-risk countries, including Malaysia and Indonesia, (because) they don't meet our forestry policy," Sullivan was quoted as saying.
Oil palm plantations near Lahad Datu, Malaysia. Photo by Rhett A. Butler
Environmentalists say logging and oil palm development are driving large-scale destruction of tropical forests across southeast Asia, especially Indonesia. Recent research has shown that emissions from deforestation and degradation make Indonesia the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases despite ranking as only the world's 20th largest economy.
Oil palm plantations have also been linked to social problems and labor abuse.
- Gerard Wynn. HSBC to curb palm oil lending, review oil sands. Reuters December 2, 2008
- Rhett A. Butler. HSBC gives Smithsonian $8 million to study global warming impact on forests. Mongabay.com, February 12, 2007
- Rhett A. Butler. Malaysian palm oil industry accused of child slavery by Indonesia. Mongabay.com September 17, 2008
- Rhett A. Butler. Palm oil industry relies on greenwashing to mislead consumers, alleges report. Mongabay.com October 8, 2008
- Rhett A. Butler. The Social Impact of Oil Palm in Borneo. Mongabay.com June 1, 2006