The bank clearly identified companies within the sector last year and formally launched its HSBC Climate Change Index in September 2007. There were 300 companies in the index at the time, compared to 390 today with an average value of $4.8 billion.
In its first year, the index grew as a percentage of global market capitalization to 4 percent from 2.5 percent.
A report from the bank suggests growth in the sector reflects the industrial base's transition to a low carbon economy and demonstration of outperformance over the long term.
"Climate change is set to be one of the defining investment opportunities in the years ahead and this is often underestimated," Kevin Bourne, managing director of equities in HSBC's Global Banking and Markets unit, said in a statement. "While more manufacturers are providing climate change products at all parts of the supply chain, the pace still needs to increase. Climate change is no longer an environmental or social issue, but a huge economic global opportunity."