Thu 24th May 2012, 1:00pm
Neva Frecheville, 30, works as an international development policy officer for WWF. She believes that people have the power to be more than just consumers, they can be citizens who affect the way in which the world works, and in this letter she explain to the HSBC CEO, Stephen Gulliver, why she's moving her money out of HSBC.
Dear Mr Gulliver,
I am writing to you to share my reasons for closing my bank account with HSBC in favour of a company with a better ethical investment policy. I have banked with HSBC for over a decade now, using a variety of services and generally receiving good customer service.
Despite this, I am no longer able to bank with HSBC with a clear conscience because of your financing of the extraction of the Alberta tar sands in Canada.
The levels of carbon dioxide that will be released into the atmosphere as a result of exploiting this reserve will accelerate climate change and has been predicted to push us beyond the 'tipping point', after which we irreversible changes to the climate will engender global disruption of food systems, our oceans and the ecosystems we all depend on.
NASA scientist James Hansen has identified that Canada’s tar sands contain twice the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by global oil use in our entire history and that if we fully exploit this new oil source, alongside continued burning of conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, the amount of carbon dioxide released would accelerate climate change to the extent that it becomes unmanageable.
This is made possible by the capital investment provided by HSBC.
I urge you to consider deeply the implications of your actions, in the hope that your company is able to see beyond short term profits and recognise your responsibility to both current and future generations.