公正轉型與財富與權力的再平衡

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

亞洲極易受到氣候變化的影響。根據 2021 年全球氣候風險指數[1],2000 年至 2019 年受影響最嚴重的十個國家中有六個位於亞洲。令人鼓舞的是,許多亞洲國家都承諾了其長期的淨零排放目標。然而,通往淨零的道路充滿了不確定性,因為這些國家中的大多數似乎都沒有實現目標的詳細規劃和戰略。根據西門子能源與管理顧問羅蘭貝格合作進行的最新研究,亞太地區只有 25% 的能源轉型準備就緒[2]。該地區許多國家的人口結構更年輕、人口更多、經濟增長更快。與發達國家相比,它們在能源轉型中當然面臨更多的挑戰和抵制。然而,由於全球近 80% 的煤炭消費來自亞太地區,該地區的能源轉型對於地球在應對氣候變化方面的成功至關重要。

煤炭不僅是世界這一地區許多國家的主要電力來源,也是其國民收入的主要來源。實現能源平穩過渡的主要挑戰是現行的有利於煤炭和其他化石燃料的規章制度。這些規章制度的主要產品之一是化石燃料補貼。根據亞洲開發銀行的一份報告[3],在一些亞洲國家,政府用於彌補全球和國內價格差距的化石燃料補貼支出超過了教育或衛生方面的公共支出。這些補貼主要歸於富人,減少了對可再生能源和能源效率投資的激勵。相比之下,對可再生能源的財政激勵只是化石燃料補貼的一小部分[4]。因此,能源轉型不僅涉及將能源結構轉變為更清潔的能源和更少的化石燃料,而且還涉及重新平衡社會之間的權力和財富。我們應該推動對環境和人民產生積極影響的能源轉型。

認識到勞動力公正過渡在向低碳和氣候適應型經濟和社會轉變的重要性,國家元首和政府首腦在 COP24 上簽署了《團結與公正過渡西里西亞宣言》[5]。挑戰在於政府政策中公正過渡概念的執行。可悲的是,在許多需要使其能源供應多樣化的國家中,公正的過渡只不過是緩慢的。如果沒有加速過渡,淨零目標將遙遙無期。美國、歐盟和其他發達國家在 COP26 上發表聯合聲明[6],支持包括發展中國家和新興經濟體在內的國際公平過渡的條件。非常需要簽署國和其他發達國家的幫助來調動包括資本在內的資源,以實現公正的過渡。希望我們會在 COP27 之前看到一些行動,而不僅僅是會議上的另一個宣言。


[1] Global Climate Risk Index 2021 – Who Suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss events in 2019 and 2000-2019, Germanwatch

[2] Asia Pacific Energy Transition Readiness Index – Geared up for change, Siemens Energy and Roland Berger

[3] Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Asia: Trends, Impacts, and Reforms – Integration Report, Asian Development Bank

[4] Asia-Pacific Must Phase Out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies, BRINK News

[5] Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration, COP24

[6] Supporting the conditions for a Just Transition Internationally, COP26

Just transition and the rebalancing of wealth and power

Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Photo credit: Iron & Earth (CC BY-SA)

Asia is highly vulnerable to climate change. Based on the Global Climate Risk Index 2021[1], six of the ten most affected countries from 2000 to 2019 are in Asia. It is encouraging to see many Asian countries committed their long-term net zero emission targets. However, the road to net zero is full of uncertainty as it seems that most of these countries do not have detailed planning and strategies for reaching the targets. According to the latest study conducted by Siemens Energy in collaboration with management consultant Roland Berger, the Asia Pacific region only scored a 25% of readiness for energy transition.[2] Many countries in the region have younger demographic, larger population and faster growing economies. They are certainly facing more challenges and are more resisted in energy transition than the developed countries. However, with close to 80% of global coal consumption coming from Asia Pacific, the energy transition of the region is critical to the success of the earth in combating climate change.

Coal is not only the primary source of power for many countries in this part of the world but also a major source of their national income. The major challenges to enable smooth energy transition are the current rules and regulations that were initiated to favour coal and other fossil fuels. One of the primary products of these rules and regulations is the fossil fuel subsidies. According to a report from Asian Development Bank[3], government spending on fossil fuel subsidies, which covers the gap between global and domestic prices, exceeds public spending on education or health in some Asian countries. These subsidies accrue largely to the rich and reduce incentives for investment in renewables and energy efficiency. Comparatively, financial incentives for renewable energy is just a fraction of the subsidies given to fossil fuels.[4] Energy transition is therefore not only about changing the energy mix to more clean energy and less fossil fuels but also about rebalancing the power and wealth among the society. We should drive energy transition that would positively impact both the environment and the people.

Recognizing the importance of just transition of the workforce in the paradigm shift towards low carbon and climate resilient economies and society, head of states and governments signed the Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration at COP24[5]. The challenge is the execution of the just transition concept in government policies. Sadly, just transition is nothing but slow in many countries that need to diversity its energy supply. Without the acceleration in just transition, the net zero goals are far reaching. At COP26 the United States, EU and other developed countries made a joint declaration[6] to support the conditions for a just transition internationally, including the developing countries and emerging economies. The help of the signatories and other developed countries is very much needed to mobilize resources, including capital, to just transition. Hopefully, we will see some actions before COP27, not just another declaration at the conference.


[1] Global Climate Risk Index 2021 – Who Suffers Most from Extreme Weather Events? Weather-Related Loss events in 2019 and 2000-2019, Germanwatch

[2] Asia Pacific Energy Transition Readiness Index – Geared up for change, Siemens Energy and Roland Berger

[3] Fossil Fuel Subsidies in Asia: Trends, Impacts, and Reforms – Integration Report, Asian Development Bank

[4] Asia-Pacific Must Phase Out Fossil-Fuel Subsidies, BRINK News

[5] Solidarity and Just Transition Silesia Declaration, COP24

[6] Supporting the conditions for a Just Transition Internationally, COP26

Climate Risk #Banking System#

Mostafa Monira Firdouse, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Key Words: Climate RISK, ESG, Financial Institution, risk management framework, policy, society, NET ZERO.

Climate, the moment the word comes, our brain automatically tells us, it’s a global problem and shared responsibilities. Then, we LOVE to talk about of all the failed initiatives, like; green washings, bureaucracy, sea-level rise, living condition in Mars etc. Unless there is any recent typhoon signal, we often do not see climate change is an issue in our daily life. BECAUSE we know climate change is a global issue, it’s UNFCC’s problem, perhaps its sort of Financial Institution’s problem and overall, it’s the next generation’s problem!

In last week, I have got a call from my bank to do a 121 risk assessment (over phone with set questionnaire). Throughout my answering time, I tried to give an impression, #am a pretty good financial risk taker#?#<3. As if, me, as an insignificant individual trying to make significant change in Bank’s profile! Tell me about it. #?*.

1. Surprisingly, the phone call and all those set questions created a ripple effect in my mind. I wanted to know, what’s the climate risk of banking system? How do they define climate risk? Whether customer risk profiling regular questions covers climate risk perspective, as well? I started digging info, impressively, I have got most of the answers. Like; YES, bank has ESG & Climate Risk covered under their risk section. Then another question ticking in my mind, how are the banks capturing climate risk? This is what I have found, though to share with you all;According to Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Report (Link), Banks and the banking system are exposed to climate change through macro- and microeconomic transmission channels that arise from two distinct types of climate risk drivers. First, they may suffer from the economic costs and financial losses resulting from the increasing severity and frequency of physical climate risk drivers. Second, as economies seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which make up the vast majority of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, these efforts generate transition risk drivers. These arise through changes in government policies, technological developments, or investor and consumer sentiment. They may also generate significant costs and losses for banks and the banking system.
Physical risk drivers are changes in both weather and climate that impact economies. Which we are experiencing through more frequent stronger category typhoons in Hong Kong. Quick look
– However, transition risk drivers are the societal changes arising from a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Side Note: As you all know, I am a passionate researcher with sole interest on capturing social changes due to climate change impact. Obviously, the transitional risk drivers fastened my immediate attention. Also, I believe, if we can manage transitional risks, only we will be able to manage physical risks.
I am eager to learn more about Climate Risk with keen interest to witness low carbon economy.

2. There is a growing consensus among policymakers and supervisors that climate change poses real financial risks. Good amount of evidence showed that transition and physical risks are arising from climate change represent a material risk to the banking system and may even be a source of systemic risk to the financial system (Link). But what extent of climate risks are properly dealt with in banks’ prudential frameworks? According to research, the unique features of climate risk coupled with calls from academia to address possible credit market failures have triggered a debate on whether the current regulatory framework can adequately capture these risks. Both the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the European Banking Authority (EBA) have launched initiatives to explore whether the current banking regulatory framework can sufficiently capture the unique features of climate-related financial risk.

3. The report recently published by IPCC for decisive action to mitigate the already materializing risks triggered by “widespread, rapid and intensifying” climate change. The adequate quantification of climate risks to banks’ balance sheets remains a major challenge, however – due to an unprecedented combination of impacts in the short and medium to long-term horizon inherent in climate risk, and innovation in forward-looking modelling is necessary to identify prospective financial losses.

Monira’s blogs and videos:
● Energy Transition comes with Net Benefits to Society and the Economy
Hong Kong: Prospect To Become Green Finance Hub
BONDS: How far we are to be the Global Green Bond Hub
【Friends of the Earth(HK)】Green Finance Connect (08 July 2019)

誰掌上市公司薪酬話語權?

【意見交流園地】馮健鏗 Ryan Fung 

全球陷入能源危機,能源安全暫時壓倒一切,ESG 投資者似乎不約而同把矛頭直指不同企業的管治(G)問題,機構投資者和投票諮詢機構均趁機向不同企業施壓,四出踢館,透過「薪酬話語權」(say on pay)代理投票來表達他們的反對意見,為不少企業帶來煩惱。

多年來,持有大量投票權的機構投資者也被視為橡皮圖章,在股東大會只投贊成票,但在 ESG 浪潮下,不少機構就伺機增加話語權,提倡為公司改革,當中「勒索」最有效的一招,當然是劍指管理層的薪金,隨即令到一些業績倒退的公司,高薪厚祿的 CEO 無法再大安旨意「袋袋平安」,管理層紛紛被要求薪酬調整需取決於公司的表現、或者與公司 ESG 表現掛勾。

為吃大茶飯,ISS 早前更新 2022 投票政策,加入 ESG 要求,今年先後找不同對象開刀,AXA 便是其中之一,他們建議投資者投票反對 AXA 行政總裁 Thomas Buberl 提出的新薪酬方案,並稱該保險公司沒有為包括 14% 加薪在內的提議提供足夠好的理由,並形容其人工「高於中位數」;另外一間投票諮詢機構 Glass Lewis 也同樣對此抱著質疑態度,齊齊以 ESG 之名發聲。

而上個月,ISS 也公開反對蘋果 CEO Tim Cook 在 2021 年的 9,900 萬美元薪酬和獎金議案,導致共 36% 的股東投下反對票。但有關議案最後仍獲通過,Tim Cook 有驚無險下也得到報酬。

不過 ISS 的做法也備受爭議,紅杉資本的合夥人 Michael Moritz 就撰文炮轟 ISS 做齊法官和陪審團,既向投資者提供「獨立」意見,又向上市公司兜售 ESG 服務、數票服務、薪酬諮詢服務等,使評級機構在之前也被監管機構整頓。

投資諮詢機構的做法雖具爭議,但管理層殘民自肥的做法確實不容忽視,去年高管薪酬諮詢公司 Equilar 為「紐約時報」進行一項針對全美上市公司 200 名薪酬最高行政總裁的全面調查,指疫情期間科技老闆們的薪水大多沒有受到影響,而且 CEO 們與普通員工的薪酬差距,在疫情爆發期間還有所擴大。

而這個情況在亞洲更為嚴重,主要是大部分公司均被家族控制,牢牢掌握著控制權,加上上市規則允許關連人士投票、董事局決定人工,外界往往對不合理的公司政策無可奈何。

很多上市公司的董事都以股票形式發放高薪,令管理人模式下的高層變得短視貪婪,不惜以高風險方式經營催谷公司業績和股價。更合適的做法,大概是要訂立跟 ESG 掛勾的薪酬機制,用一套更客觀的標準,去犒賞或懲罰管理層。

May 2022 Events on Green Finance/ 2022年5月綠色金融活動一覽

Check out the above calendar for the fantastic green finance events for May 2022! Interested to join and learn more about Green Finance? Browse the links below to check out the upcoming events.

以上一圖看清2022年5月精彩的綠色金融活動!如欲參加及了解上述活動,歡迎瀏覽以下網址:

[1] TCFD Capacity Building Series for China – Session 4: Metrics & Targets

[2] ESG APAC Conference

[3] Asia Pacific ESG Talent Incubation Roundtable 2022 & EFFAS CESGA Programme Insights Sharing

[4] ESG Uncovered Part 2 – Rising tide: Adapting to the changing ESG regulatory landscape

[5] Corporate Sustainability Reporting: IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards

[6] PRI China Conference: Investing for Net Zero and SDGs

[7] The Impact Management Platform: Managing Impact for Investments

[8] The Green Economy: Regulatory requirement or investment opportunity?