Hong Kong SAR – Steering Group Sets out Strategic Plan on Sustainable Finance

The Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group which was established earlier this year has announced its green and sustainable finance strategy for Hong Kong along with five key action points.

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:

  1. strengthening climate-related financial risk management;
  2. promoting the flow of climate-related information at all levels to facilitate risk management, capital allocation and investor protection;
  3. enhancing capacity building for the financial services industry and raising public awareness;
  4. encouraging innovation and exploring initiatives to facilitate capital flows towards green and sustainable causes;
  5. capitalising on Mainland opportunities to develop Hong Kong into a green finance centre in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area; and
  6. strengthening regional and international collaboration.

The Steering Group welcomes the initiative to make Hong Kong carbon neutral by 2050, and has agreed to implement five near-term action points:

  1. Climate-related disclosures aligned with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations will be mandatory across relevant sectors no later than 2025.
  2. Aim to adopt the Common Ground Taxonomy, which will be developed by mid-2021 by the International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) Working Group on Taxonomies co-led by China and the EU.
  3. Support the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation’s proposal to establish a new Sustainability Standards Board for developing and maintaining a global, uniform set of sustainability reporting standards.
  4. Promote climate-focused scenario analysis to assess the impacts on financial institutions under different climate pathways.
  5. Establish a platform to act as a focal point for financial regulators, Government agencies, industry stakeholders and the academia to coordinate cross-sectoral capacity building, thought leadership and as a cross-sectoral repository of green and sustainable finance resources in addition to the Sustainable and Green Exchange (STAGE).