HSBC launches climate change programme for India

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Chennai, Jan 10 (UNI) Carbon-neutral bank HSBC today launched a climate change programme for India together with four environmental organisations.

The organisations include The Climate Group, Earthwatch Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) and WWF, a company release here said.

Through its partners HSBC would work with research institutions, businesses and individuals to combat the impact of climate change on forests, freshwater, cities and people.

Of the 100 million US Dollar contribution by the HSBC, these partners would spend 12 million USD for work in India.

The HSBC Climate Partnership India Programme expects to achieve the following results in India by 2011: Freshwater: WWF will help reduce the impact of climate change on people and livelihoods by promoting action in the Ganga River Basin in Northern India.

This would lead to the development of a sustainable water and energy management framework for critical parts of the Ganga Basin.

Forests: STRI's Center for Tropical Forest Science (CTFS) would conduct the largest-ever field experiment to understand the impact of climate change on the world's tropical and non-tropical forests.

Research would address how carbon is stored in forests and how this storage capacity will change in the future.

CTFS would also investigate the role of forests in regulating fresh water in the environment, assessing in particular how floods and droughts will impact tropical ecosystem.

Earthwatch will conduct research to understand how human activities affect the resilience of forests to climatic variability, thereby helping to find the best forest management strategies for the future.

Cities: The Climate Group would assist leading businesses and the government to respond to the risks and opportunities of climate change and work with industry, governments and consumers to help Mumbai and Delhi become low carbon cities of the future.

People : Earthwatch would provide specialised training to over 3,000 HSBC employees in India and give them the opportunity to participate in local volunteering projects in their workplace and communities to become 'Climate Champions', the release added.

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