HSBC has reportedly suspended a senior executive after he questioned the risk climate change plays on financial markets, arguing investors shouldn’t worry about it, according to Financial Times.
Stuart Kirk, global head of responsible investing at HSBC Asset Management, told an audience last week in London at a Financial Times Moral Money conference, “there always some nut job telling me about the end of the world.”
The title of Kirk’s presentation — “Why investors need not worry about climate risk” — referred to climate crisis warnings as “unsubstantiated, shrill, partisan, self-serving, apocalyptic warnings are always wrong.” He called out central bankers and the UN for exaggerating the financial risks of climate change.
“Who cares if Miami is six meters underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six meters underwater for ages and that’s a really nice place,” he said later in the presentation.
Even though the riveting presentation had been cleared internally, top HSBC management were forced to denounce the presentation as a public relations controversy unfolded.