As we come to the end of 2021, I would like to sincerely thank you for your continuous support and contributions, share with you the Association’s key achievements in 2021, which would not have been possible without the collective efforts of our members and partners, and outline our vision for 2022.
With over 160 Hong Kong based institutional members, HKGFA represents a broad cross-section of the sustainable finance ecosystem, and plays a strong leadership role in convening market participants to collaborate on mobilize sustainable investment and addressing climate-related risks. Over the past 12 months the HKGFA organized and co-organized 60 capacity building events on green finance related issues — this number is up 100% from the previous year. These events covered many topics including application of climate risk analysis tools, carbon accounting methodologies, sustainability-linked bonds, and ESG best practices for portfolio management. HKGFA joined the Environment Bureau’s Carbon Neutrality Partnership, pledging support for Hong Kong’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality before 2050. As a member of the Centre for Green and Sustainable Finance, HKGFA contributed to the recommendations put forward to the Cross-Agency Steering Group (CASG) on pathways to build ESG talent capacity and industry climate-related risk data needs. The HKGFA Annual Forum and Annual Meeting of the Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance (GBA-GFA) attracted a record number of participants, and during these fora industry experts discussed issues such as greening the Greater Bay Area, carbon market development, transition finance, product innovation, and disclosure standards. I encourage you to watch the video replays, which are available on HKGFA’s website.
I am proud to announce that a few weeks ago HKGFA received the International Finance Forum (IFF) Global Green Finance Award, in recognition of the association’s great achievement and market leadership.
In collaboration with industry specialists, government bodies, and academia, we delivered a number of important policy commendations. For example, I published recommendations on developing a unified GBA carbon market, the carbon connect, and a Hong Kong-based voluntary carbon market; GFA, WRI and HK2050isNow released reports on The Greater Bay Area Deep Decarbonisation Pathway and Transition Financing Opportunity and Decarbonising the Building Sector in the Greater Bay Area; and our green infrastructure taskforce published a report on Developing Hong Kong as a leading investment fund hub for green infrastructure financing.
Recently I convened an offsite with HKGFA’s Executive Committee and working group co-chairs. During the offsite, the participants brainstormed on the 2022 and medium-term visions of GFA and agreed on a number of key initiatives. I am delighted to announce the following commitments of HKGFA for 2022:
- Facilitate the implementation of the Common Ground Taxonomy (CGT) in Hong Kong to unleash the potential for Hong Kong to boost cross-board green capital flows, including via packaging green assets based on the CGT and distribute them in international markets.
- Strengthen and expand the green finance and ESG talent pool in Hong Kong through capacity building and developing education programs in collaboration with educational institutions.
- Develop more innovative approaches to GBA green finance collaboration through Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance. Explore pathways to a unified GBA carbon market, mutual recognition of green building codes and green finance products, launch JV green tech funds, and digitize green assets from China.
- Advance Hong Kong’s role as an influential global green finance center. Increase member engagement across HKGFA’s eight working groups to influence green and sustainable regulatory policies, developing best practices, launching pilot projects on transition finance, and expanding the scope of sustainable finance to cover nature and biodiversity.
Let me once again thank all of you for your active participation in our activities during the past year. HKGFA is looking forward to working closely with our members and partners on our new initiatives in 2022.
I wish you and your family a Festive Season and a prosperous New Year!
Dr Ma Jun
Chairman and President of Hong Kong Green Finance Association