On 6th October 2021, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Mrs. Carrie Lam delivered the policy address, where she announced climate actions below to accelerate Hong Kong’s pathway to net zero (excerpt below).
- Set up an Office of Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality to co-ordinate actions under the “Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050”
- At the talks on the 14th Five-Year Plan for various sectors in Hong Kong, the Central Government delegation has reiterated support for Hong Kong to further promote mutual financial market access with the Mainland, …, develop into a green finance centre in the GBA and promote, amongst others, its financial services towards high-end and high value-added development. In this connection, we will step up our efforts in the following five areas:
- supporting the Hong Kong Exchange and Clearing Limited (HKEX) to promote co-operation with the Guangzhou Futures Exchange in financial product development related to the areas of carbon emission trading, and assessing the feasibility of developing Hong Kong into a regional carbon trading centre, thereby strengthening Hong Kong as a regional green and sustainable finance hub; and
Following The Chief Executive’s 2021 Policy Address, President and Chairman of Hong Kong Green Finance Association (“HKGFA” or “the Association”), Dr. Ma Jun, commented:
“The Chief Executive’s Policy Address today has highlighted the on-going initiatives in developing and strengthening Hong Kong as a regional green and sustainable finance hub and its role as the green finance centre for the Greater Bay Area. One of the five key areas announced today, where efforts will be stepped up is in the support and development related to carbon emissions trading, and assessing the feasibility of developing Hong Kong into a regional carbon trading center.
HKGFA fully supports the Government in achieving its Carbon Neutrality goal though the Association’s eight working groups and the Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance (GBA-GFA) platform that we helped launch last year.
We are delighted to be part of these efforts, working to support private and public partnerships, to enhance the role of Greater Bay Area Green Finance Alliance, and to contribute to the design of carbon trading mechanisms that involve Hong Kong. We believe that Hong Kong should consider being part of an regional carbon trading mechanism in the Greater Bay Area and explore the feasibility of developing a Hong Kong-based voluntary carbon market that serves China and global market participants.”
Chaoni Huang, Vice President and Secretary General of HKGFA; Head of Sustainable Capital Markets APAC at BNP Paribas commented: “I am excited to see ESG comprehensively covered in the Policy Address, which is further evidence that sustainable finance and investing is now mainstream. It is very encouraging to see Hong Kong stimulate market growth by implementing the expanding grant scheme to attract more diversified ESG financing activities and players. Introducing a ESG talent program is also very timely to correspond to the urgent need to integrate ESG in finance and business to maintain Hong Kong’s competitiveness.”
Tracy Wong Harris, Vice President and Deputy Secretary General of HKGFA, Head of Sustainable Finance of Greater China & North Asia at Standard Chartered commented: “I am delighted to see the Chief Executive’s Policy Address highlighted HKSAR is supportive of developing Hong Kong as a regional carbon trading centre. A well-functioning and high-integrity voluntary carbon market will allow billions of dollars to flow from those emitting carbon to those reducing, avoiding, sequestering and removing carbon. Hong Kong is a natural place to host the voluntary carbon trading platform to facilitate Chinese companies to buy carbon credits to deal with hard-to-abate emission.”