Regulators get together to bolster green finance initiative

The HKMA and the SFC have initiated the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (the HKMA press release) which held its inaugural meeting on 5th May at which it agreed to provide strategic direction, with a focus on regulatory policy and market development, to bolster Hong Kong SAR’s position as a leading green and sustainable finance centre in Asia and globally. Many of the regulators in Hong Kong had already begun the process of creating their own green and sustainable finance initiatives, but this cross-sector group should allow for co-operation and information sharing, a critical part in making many initiatives in this area work (such as developing taxonomies and green standards).

The group is made up of the HKMA, SFC, IA, HKEX, MPFA, FSTB and the Environment Bureau. Its stated aims include:

  • co-ordinating the management of climate and environmental risks to the financial sector
  • accelerating the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong
  • supporting the Government’s climate strategies.

Currently the group has up two work streams (1) to study and address cross-sectoral regulatory issues, and (2) to coordinate cross-agency market development efforts, examining policy and regulatory issues in green and sustainable finance, particularly those which may have a cross-sectoral impact. The group has said that it will carry out various activities to further its aims, such as facilitating policy direction and coordination to ensure Hong Kong has a cohesive and comprehensive green and sustainable finance strategy, addressing technical cross-sectoral issues by, for example, forming technical working groups and consulting with different experts and stakeholders, tracking international and regional trends, issues and developments in green and sustainable finance, and considering how Hong Kong should better position itself and provide leadership in the region and globally and identifying areas where Hong Kong can promote its strengths and thought leadership on green and sustainable finance regionally and globally.