The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group) announced today (17 December 2020) its green and sustainable finance strategy for Hong Kong and five key action points.
The Steering Group acknowledges that climate change is a global issue which requires a global solution. In addition, other environmental, social and governance factors may also impact businesses. Since its establishment, the Steering Group has been stepping-up its ongoing effort to coordinate these issues in the financial sector across different agencies in Hong Kong, while supporting international initiatives and alignment. We welcome the announcement that Hong Kong will strive for carbon neutrality before 2050, and stand ready to support the strategies and measures that will come out of the updating of the Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan in mid-2021.
To enhance transparency on the way forward for Hong Kong, the Steering Group has developed a Strategic Plan, which sets out six key focus areas for strengthening Hong Kong’s financial ecosystem to support a greener and more sustainable future in the longer term. These are:
The Steering Group has agreed to implement five near-term action points:
In formulating the Strategic Plan, the Steering Group has engaged with key stakeholders and industry practitioners. The Steering Group will continue to work with the financial sector and other stakeholders in developing and implementing specific policy initiatives.
Ashley Alder, Co-Chair of the Steering Group, Chief Executive Officer, SFC said:
“The concrete action points and long-term strategic plan published today represent Steering Group members’ joint efforts to take Hong Kong’s green and sustainable finance initiatives, especially those relating to climate change, to the next level. The private sector undoubtedly has a vital role to play in directing capital to activities which lower carbon emissions over time, and our plan is directed to mobilising significant volumes of private investment. Hong Kong’s plan will also have a major impact globally; the extremely large footprint and international significance of Hong Kong’s HK$ 45.7 trillion capital markets means that they will play a critical role in the overall effort to reach net-zero goals.”
Eddie Yue, Co-Chair of the Steering Group, Chief Executive, HKMA said:
“The Steering Group recognises the need and the urgency to tackle climate and environmental risk and transition to a more sustainable economy. Finance is key to driving that change. By consolidating our existing strengths and expertise and developing new and innovative capabilities, Hong Kong hopes to leverage on our role as an international financial centre to support Hong Kong’s 2050 carbon neutrality goal and mobilise capital towards driving sustainable action in this region. The Strategic Plan sets out our vision for this and the five key actions will move us further down this ambitious path. We hope that the industry will work with us to take this forward.”
Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group
17 December 2020
About the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group
The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group was set up in May 2020 and is co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission, with members comprising the Environment Bureau, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, the Insurance Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. It aims to co-ordinate the management of climate and environmental risks to the financial sector, accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong and support the Government’s climate strategies.
The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) co-hosted a press conference today (17 December) on the launching of Strategic Plan by the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group. The press conference was co-hosted by Mr Eddie Yue, Chief Executive of the HKMA (second from left) and Mr Ashley Alder, Chief Executive Officer of the SFC (second from right); and was joined by Mr Daryl Ho, Executive Director (Banking Policy) of the HKMA (first from left) and Ms Julia Leung, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Intermediaries of the SFC (first from right).
1The Financial Stability Board created the TCFD to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information. The TCFD recommendations are structured around four thematic areas that represent core elements of how organisations operate: governance, strategy, risk management, and metrics and targets.
2Taxonomy in this context generally refers to a system that classifies economic activities that are considered environmentally sustainable. The Common Ground Taxonomy will provide transparency to all investors and companies by constituting a unique common reference point for the definition of investments that are considered as environmentally sustainable across relevant IPSF jurisdictions.