The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group has announced the progress made to help advance Hong Kong's position in green and sustainable finance (GSF) and the financial ecosystem's transition towards carbon neutrality.
The Steering Group says that the Centre for Green and Sustainable Finance (GSF Centre) has been working to build capacity and enhance talent and data resources for the financial industry. The GSF Centre, launched by the Steering Group in July 2021, coordinates the efforts of financial regulators, relevant government agencies, industry stakeholders and academia in capacity building and to improve data availability for the financial industry.
Data and capacity-building
In the data and capacity-building arenas, the Centre has or has been:
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; and
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.
Launched the GSF Training Information Repository to facilitate easy access to information about international and local GSF training and qualifications;
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; and
Working with the government on preparations 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.
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 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.
Carbon market opportunities
The Steering Group engaged with stakeholders and published on 30 March 2022 its preliminary feasibility assessment of carbon market opportunities for Hong Kong.
Established in May 2020, the Steering Group is co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and the SFC. Members include the Environment Bureau, the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the HKEX, the Insurance Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority. The Steering Group aims to coordinate 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.