Sustainable Finance Steering Group aligns with COP26 goals and reaffirms their commitment to developing Hong Kong as a green finance hub.
Following the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and a global call for commitment towards combatting climate change, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC)’s Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group announced their support for the COP26 goals and reaffirmed their commitment to establishing the city as a green finance hub. The Steering Group will work to strengthen Hong Kong’s financial ecosystem for a greener and more sustainable future, in line with the government’s Climate Action Plan 2050.
Eddie Yue, Co-Chair of the Steering Group and Chief Executive of HKMA commented, “COP26 once again highlighted the critical role that finance plays in accelerating and supporting the transition to net zero. The Steering Group will continue to focus on the key enablers to scaling up sustainable finance, including consistent and comparable disclosure, harmonised standards, talent and data, as well as explore the opportunities, such as in the carbon markets.”
The Steering Group highlighted a publication from the IFRS Foundation regarding a prototype for climate disclosure standards, which will outline a comprehensive global baseline which will provide market participants with clear regulatory expectations and improve the transparency, comparability, and reliability of corporate disclosures. The Common Ground Taxonomy (CGT) report by the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) will also be referenced.
The Steering Group will also continue to monitor international developments in the green finance field, and offer support to these initiatives, supporting efforts to promote climate-related disclosures and climate-focused data analysis through their participation in international forums, including the International Organization of Securities Commissions Sustainable Finance Task Force, the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System, and the IPSF.
Ashley Alder, Co-Chair of the Steering Group and Chief Executive Officer of SFC said, “Hong Kong’s pivotal role in connecting vast amounts of global capital with the Mainland market, together with its adoption of a climate reporting standard, will help significantly advance green and sustainable finance development regionally and globally. We will continue working closely with our fellow regulators, the Government and the industry to ensure that Hong Kong continues to develop as a leading international sustainable finance hub.”
The Steering Group will release further updates and measures to advance the future of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong following their next meeting in December 2021.