The world’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will need as much as $50 trillion worth of investment to meet net zero, according to a joint report by HSBCs and the Boston Consulting Group.
Smaller businesses have struggled amid the decarbonisation push, which seeks to reduce the world’s emissions to avoid climate change, as they have less capital to make it a financial priority, as found by the British Business Bank last week.
The eyewatering figure joins a raft of abstract sums that have been called for to avoid the worst effects of global warming.
Though the path to net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will undoubtedly require lined pockets.
The report called on banks, which are “uniquely positioned to support clients big and small”, to ring-fence funding in a bid to help finance the transition.
Banks could also partner with smaller businesses on sustainable supply chain finance programmes which would lower the costs for SMEs, the report noted, and minimise ‘Scope 3’ or supply chain emissions.
HSBC’s global head of trade and receivables finance Natalie Blyth said: “Despite the positivity of increasing numbers of large corporates making net zero commitments, the reality is that delivering on ‘Scope 3’ emissions will be extremely challenging unless urgent action to support SMEs is taken now.
“This report highlights the need for a new front in the battle to combat climate change and to build coalitions, break-down barriers across supply chains and stakeholder groups, and transition supply chains holistically.”
Consumers will also need to accept a compromise in price, the report added, and urged them to vote with their feet – even if it means forgetting long-formed habits.