HSBC, Australia’s Queensland buy ‘credits’ to protect Great Barrier Reef

In this news, we discuss the HSBC, Australia’s Queensland buy ‘credits’ to protect Great Barrier Reef.

SYDNEY (Reuters) – The Australian state of Queensland and HSBC HSBA.L said on Thursday they would make a “first global investment” to protect the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef, which is suffering from severe episodes of bleaching. corals.

Rising sea temperatures and poor water quality are the two biggest threats to the Great Barrier Reef, which has lost more than half of its corals in the past three decades.

In an attempt to save the reef, HSBC and the Queensland government have said they will purchase “Reef Credits,” a redeemable unit that quantifies and values ​​work being done to improve the quality of the water flowing over the reef. .

Similar to the carbon offset market that encourages the reduction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the program pays landowners for better water quality.

The investment required to meet the water quality goals for the Great Barrier Reef is estimated at A $ 4 billion ($ 2.8 billion), according to James Schultz, CEO of GreenCollar, which developed the Reef. Credit Scheme in partnership with Landowners, Government of Queensland Resource Management Organizations.

Neither HSBC nor the Queensland government have disclosed how much they would invest to buy “reef credits”.

GreenCollar estimates that the market could be worth more than 6 million Reef credits by 2030, opening the door for more companies to invest in the future of the reef as part of their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies. .

For buyers, “reef credits” would provide a measurable and verified result of water quality, tracked against internationally recognized targets and based on the actual reduction of pollutants entering the reef.

“As the world’s first such water quality marketplace, Reef Credits will play a pivotal role in protecting the future of the Great Barrier Reef as both an Australian and international icon,” said HSBC in a statement.

The Great Barrier Reef was declared a World Heritage Site in 1981 by UNESCO as the largest and most spectacular coral reef ecosystem on the planet.

(1 USD = 1.4132 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Edited by Stephen Coates

Original © Thomson Reuters

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