Green and sustainable finance

We play a key role in the development of green and sustainable finance initiatives to support Hong Kong’s position as a green finance hub within the Greater Bay Area and internationally.

Hong Kong

In September 2018, the SFC published its Strategic Framework for Green Finance, which covers three major areas: (i) enhancing listed company, asset manager and investment product disclosures and their consideration of ESG factors, especially environmental and climate risks; (ii) facilitating the development of green or ESG-related investment products, and supporting investor awareness and capacity building, and;  (iii) promoting Hong Kong as an international green finance centre.

The SFC has established an internal cross-divisional working group to consider policies to develop Hong Kong as a green finance hub.

In May 2020, the SFC initiated the establishment of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (CASG) to accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance in Hong Kong and support the Government’s climate strategies.  Co-chaired by the SFC and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the group comprises of the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, the Environment Bureau, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), the Insurance Authority and the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority.

The CASG announced its green and sustainable finance strategy for Hong Kong in December 2020 and will be following up with actions on the following five 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. 
  •  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.
  • Support the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Foundation’s proposal to establish a new Sustainability Standards Board for developing and maintaining a global, uniform set of sustainability reporting standards.
  •  Promote climate-focused scenario analysis to assess the impacts on financial institutions under different climate pathways, such as through the pilot climate risk stress testing exercise for banks and insurers, and the use of scenario analysis by large asset managers.
  • 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. 

International

The SFC has been collaborating with overseas regulatory counterparts to consider the development of sustainability practices in the financial sector. The SFC is the Vice-Chair of the Sustainability Task Force of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO). It also leads the Sustainable Finance Working Group of IOSCO’s Asia-Pacific Regional Committee.  

We are a member of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) and the Advisory Group of the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative. We are also a supporter of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

SFC initiatives

Surveys and reports

Survey on Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance Factors and Climate Risks in Asset Management (16 December 2019)

Circulars to licensed corporations

Circular to management companies of SFC-authorized unit trusts and mutual funds – Green or ESG funds (11 April 2019)

Circular to Licensed Corporations Engaged in Asset Management – Survey on Integrating Environmental, Social and Governance Factors in Asset Management (29 March 2019)

Green-related products

List of SFC-authorised green and ESG funds

Executives' speeches and remarks

Keynote address at Climate Risk and Green Finance Regulatory Forum 2021 (11 February 2021)

Remarks at Bloomberg BuySide Summit 2019 by Ashley Alder (22 March 2019)

Green finance: an SFC view – Interview with Julia Leung (11 March 2019)

Investor education

Investor and Financial Education Council – Green Finance

Principles of responsible ownership (PRO)

The Principles of Responsible Ownership (Principles) are a set of principles and guidance to assist investors to determine how best to meet their ownership responsibilities. (7 March 2016)

Hong Kong initiatives

Strategic Plan to Strengthen Hong Kong’s Financial Ecosystem to Support a Greener and More Sustainable Future (17 December 2020)

Joint statement on the establishment of the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (5 May 2020)

HKSAR Government – Green Finance, Global Cooperation (My Blog by Financial Secretary Chan Mo-po Paul) (5 May 2019) (Chinese only)

HKSAR Government – Gov't backs green financing (Remarks by Acting Chief Executive Matthew Cheung) (25 March 2019)

HKEX – Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)

Hong Kong Green Finance Association

Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency Green Finance Certification Scheme

International initiatives

Network for Greening the Financial System

Principles for Responsible Investment

Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Sustainability Task Force of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)


 

[1]https://apps.sfc.hk/edistributionWeb/gateway/EN/news-and-announcements/news/doc?refNo=20PR128

Last update: 1 Apr 2021

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