How Far Has Hong Kong Progressed in Its Green Finance Push?

How Far Has Hong Kong Progressed in Its Green Finance Push?

by June 28, 2022

The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group) has made some progresses in advancing Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance (GSF) agenda and helping the financial ecosystem’s transition towards carbon neutrality.

Established in May 2020, the Steering Group is co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC).

Members include the Environment Bureau, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the Insurance Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority.

Launched by the Steering Group in 2021, the GSF Center has been working to build capacity and enhance talent and data resources for the financial industry.

GSF Center’s capacity building progress

The center had launched the GSF Training Information Repository to facilitate easy access to information about international and local GSF training and qualifications;

Additionally, it had also launched the GSF Internship Opportunities Repository to serve as an information platform for university students who are looking for opportunities to gain GSF-related work experience and applied knowledge to prepare for a future career in this field.

The center is also working with the government on the preparation work for the new Pilot Green and Sustainable Finance Capacity Building Support Scheme announced by the Financial Secretary in the 2022/23 budget, with a view to launching the scheme in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Green and sustainable finance data

The center launched the GSF Data Source Repository to support the financial sector in locating data sources for climate risk management and other GSF-related analysis and research.

The repository contains various government data sources relevant to the assessment of physical risks in Hong Kong, including historical data on catastrophe damages, district level micro-climate conditions (such as tropical cyclones, flooding, landslides and storm surges) as well as geographic data and a co-ordinates transformation tool.

The GSF center is planning to create a free and publicly accessible greenhouse gas emissions estimation tool, with clearly-disclosed methodologies, that companies can use as an alternative source of information.

Taxonomies and sustainability reporting

The Steering Group has been engaging with the industry and other relevant stakeholders to better understand the features and challenges of the local green classification framework.

Following the publication of the updated Common Ground Taxonomy (CGT) report by the International Platform on Sustainable Finance, the Steering Group will, with support from experts, work towards proposing the structure and core elements of the local green classification framework for consultation.

A key focus of financial regulators globally is to facilitate capital allocation for the transition to a low carbon economy.

As a global baseline for sustainability reporting, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) aims to produce the first set of international sustainability standards in late 2022 or early 2023.

The Steering Group encourages market participants to respond to the ISSB public consultation on its proposed standards, which will close on 29 July 2022.

SFC and HKEX are evaluating a climate-first approach to implement the ISSB standards for Hong Kong listed companies.

An SFC-HKEX joint working group is looking into the readiness of listed companies to report under the proposed draft disclosure requirements and the challenges they face.


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