Banking giant HSBC faces greenwashing allegations from the UK advertising watchdog, as BP’s profits more than double in the first quarter of this year amid soaring oil and gas prices. Meanwhile, tropical rainforests were being destroyed at a rate of 10 football pitches every minute last year, Gatehouse Bank launches the UK’s first Islamic green home loans, and tropical cyclones are set to double in the coming years due to climate change. It’s the Good With Money weekly newsbrief.
HSBC faces greenwashing allegations
HSBC has been rapped by the UK advertising watchdog for greenwashing its record on tackling climate change.
Draft recommendation criticises the banking heavyweight for selectively promoting its green investment activity without elaborating on its continued investment in fossil fuels.
The bank is accused of misleading customers in two separate poster campaigns promoting its green initiatives, which left out information about its financing of firms with substantial emissions.
Published at bus stops in Bristol and London, one advert said it would provide $1 trillion (£80 billion) in financing for clients to transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, while the other promoted a commitment to plant two million trees to trap 1.25 million tons of carbon.
BP profits double as calls for windfall tax grow
BP’s profits for the first three months of this year more than doubled as oil and gas prices soared.
The energy giant reported a quarterly profit of $6.2 billion (£4.9 billion) – the highest in more than a decade – compared to $2.6 billion (£2 billion) in the same period last year.
BP said the increase was due in part to “exceptional oil and gas trading”. Rising profits have prompted calls for a one-off windfall tax on oil and gas companies to ease the burden on UK households grappling with increasingly high bills.
UK inflation is currently at its highest rate for 30 years, pushed up by the rising cost of oil and gas which has inflated fuel prices and the cost of household energy.
Ten football pitches of tropical rainforest lost every minute
Tropical rainforests were destroyed at a rate of 10 football pitches every minute last year, according to new analysis.
The area lost was enough to cover the entire island of Cuba and sent more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than India does in a year from burning fossil fuels.
From the Brazilian Amazon to the Congo basin, 11.1 million hectares (43,000 square miles) of virgin rainforest was destroyed, including 3.75 million hectares of primary forest critical to limiting global heating and biodiversity loss. The loss was caused predominantly by logging as well as fires, the analysis by the World Resources Institute’s Global Forest Watch and the University of Maryland found.
The figures have prompted concerns that governments will not meet a COP26 deal to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.
Gatehouse Bank launches UK’s first Islamic green home loans
Gatehouse Bank has launched a range of green home finance products for UK homeowners and landlords – the first Shari’ah-compliant offering of its kind in the UK.
Customers acquiring or refinancing a property with an A or B energy efficiency rating will receive a 10 bps (basis points) reduction on the rental rate. Gatehouse will also offset the carbon impact of the property during the initial fixed term period of the product.
Gatehouse will continue to offset the carbon footprint of the property for however long a customer stays with the bank, subject to their property meeting the required EPC rating.
Green home finance products have become increasingly popular in recent years, as people consider the environmental impact of their properties. Several providers have introduced environmentally focused home finance products, but Gatehouse is the UK’s first Shari’ah-compliant finance provider to enter this market.
Tropical cyclones to double due to climate change
Tropical cyclones will be twice as frequent by the middle of the century due to climate change, according to a new study.
UK scientists have been part of an international team examining large-scale data to analyse how increasing temperatures could affect the frequency and scale of these extreme weather events.
Their research predicts that maximum wind speeds in cyclones could increase by 20 per cent and they could occur more often in places where currently they are rare such as Cambodia, Laos, Mozambique and many Pacific island nations.
The team’s analysis found that the frequency of the most intense cyclones, those from category 3 or higher, will double globally due to climate change, while weaker tropical cyclones and tropical storms will become less common in most of the world’s regions.