Key Initiatives Announced to Support Hong Kong Develop Sustainable Finance Opportunities

Hong Kong’s Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (Steering Group) has agreed on three key initiatives to capture financing and investment opportunities from the Asia-Pacific Region’s low carbon transition. The Steering Group also welcomed the Accounting and Financial Reporting Council (AFRC) as a new member.

The Steering Group agreed on a trio of initiatives to support Hong Kong capture more green and sustainable financing business including, the adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Sustainability Disclosure Standards locally as appropriate.

The Steering Group also identified transition finance as a priority for 2024 to consolidate Hong Kong’s role as a leading sustainable finance hub and the use of technology to support sustainability reporting and data analysis.

To this end the Steering Group announced an event in Q1 2024 to showcase potential green fintech use cases to scale the sustainable finance market. In the coming months, it will also  launch enhancements to its website, including the Climate and Environmental Risk Questionnaire for Non-listed companies in digital format, and new greenhouse gas emissions calculation and estimation tools jointly developed with the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Julia Leung, Co-Chair of the Steering Group and Chief Executive Officer of the SFC, said: “As an international financial centre, Hong Kong’s development of a roadmap for the local sustainability disclosures ecosystem is a key priority. Adopting the IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards locally requires collective action by both the public and private sectors.”

“We have been actively engaging with regional stakeholders and promoting technological solutions to support interoperability with global markets and alignment of common metrics, thereby bolstering Hong Kong’s position as a leading sustainable finance hub.”

Established in May 2020, the Steering Group is co-chaired by the HKMA and the SFC. Members include the AFRC, the Environment and Ecology Bureau, FSTB, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, 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.