Green Finance Connect Series 4: Briefing Session for Public Engagement on Long-term Decarbonisation Strategy for Financial Practitioners – Sep 6, 2019

Hong Kong needs to draw up its long-term decarbonisation strategy up to 2050 by next year 2020.

In this regard, the Council for Sustainable Development (SDC) has accepted the Government’s invitation to roll out a territory-wide public engagement exercise to gauge the views of the public and stakeholders in formulating a long-term decarbonisation strategy for Hong Kong, and to mobilise stronger climate actions across different sectors of the society. The public engagement aims to arouse public awareness on the impact of carbon emissions, and to obtain the views of the community in developing feasible strategies for carbon reduction, with a view to making recommendations to the Government by the end of this year.

In view of this, Friends of the Earth (HK) is co-organizing a briefing session with Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC) with the aim to engage the practitioners and stakeholders from the financial industry to leverage their expertise and ideas on possible actions related to reducing carbon emissions that suit the development progress of Hong Kong. This session will be facilitated by the public engagement team from the Policy for Sustainability Lab, Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong. As the co-organiser, we are extending invitations for the workshop.

You are cordially invited to participate in this workshop:

Address:        Function Room AC1, 

                      4/F., Administration Building, 

                      Hong Kong Cultural Centre, 

                      10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon 

Date:              6 September 2019(Friday) 

Time:             10:00am – 11:30am

Please click here for the registration to the briefing session.

For those who are unable to participate in person, you are also welcome to submit your views directly via the Views Collection Form.

Representatives from the Public Engagement Team

Ms Joyce CHOW – Senior Project Manager, Policy for Sustainability Lab, Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong

Ms Chow has been involved in various sustainability-related research and planning consultancy works with solid experiences in organising community participatory activities, conducting workshops and charettes and providing training for NGOs, private sector and government departments. Her major interest fields include environmental management, urban planning, sustainable development and transport planning. She has been a Chartered Town Planner of the Royal Town Planning Institute, the United Kingdom since 2008.

Mr Darwin LEUNG – Assistant Project Manager, Policy for Sustainability Lab, Centre for Civil Society and Governance, The University of Hong Kong

Mr. Leung was trained as an urban planner and he has engaged in various research on urban renewal, sustainability reporting and resource efficient cities. He has also participated in a number of consultancy projects for international organisations, such as the UNEP and the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED); several work departments of the HKSAR Government such as Highways Department and Civil Engineering and Development Department. These projects have spanned across a wide range of topics, including climate change and building energy efficiency, harbour reclamation and waterfront planning, regional transportation planning, and green economy policies, practices and initiatives.

Green Finance Connect Series 3: ESG Standards and Its Implementation – An Analysis on HKEX Guideline from Investor’s Lens, 30 Aug (Mostafa Monira Firdouse)

Hope you had a good summer break and we are happy to share with you our 3rd Event of FoE (HK) Green Finance Connect Series after our Green Finance Launch and Sustainable Finance Lecture in July.

Through the Green Finance Connect Series, senior executives or professionals from financial industry come to FoE (HK) to share their insights and have in-depth dialogues on green finance.

Ms Mostafa Monira Firdouse holds a Master degree in Energy and Environmental Sustainability from The Open University of Hong Kong. She is a Senior Consultant of IFC – International Finance Corporation. She has led over 30 regional projects on Energy and Resource Efficiency, Green Building, Water, Agribusiness, etc.

Monira will share with FoE (HK) the ESG standards and its implementation in Hong Kong. How much has HKEX guideline is aligned with IFC’s Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) performance standard? Are all 11 aspects in HKEX relevant for ESG performance measurement? What kind of social information are available for investors to make long term commitments? What are the areas that HKEX should consider to update, or be more be specific in existing guideline? The sharing session will be aiming to provide the answers to many of the questions faced by investors and public.

For registration and enquiries, please contact Ms Joyce Kiang at joycekiang@foe.org.hk .

Event details
Date: 30 August 2019, Friday
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Venue: FoE office (1301-1302, 13/F, Block A, Sea View Estate, 2 Watson Road, Hong Kong

不要忘記綠色金融的主要目的── 環境 / Let’s Not Forget about the Main Goal of Green Finance – it’s about the Environment

香港地球之友董事麥礎允 / Serena Mak, Board Member of Friends of the Earth (HK)

很多金融從業員一直討論,企業要達到可持續金融發展,有需要進行更理想、更高透明度的報告及披露。為達成此目標,訂立一個標準設定是十分重要的一環,當然,不同持分者對這些標準有不同的側重也不足為奇。甚至從更基本出發,各國看綠色金融的組成也有所不同。

其中一個例子為煤炭項目融資。一些機構強調煤炭不是可持續發展的資源,例如世界銀行在2013年發表了一份能源工業發展方向文件,以解決化石燃料的使用問題。但與此同時,在一些國家投資「潔淨煤炭技術」,可符合當地發行綠色債券的標準。

這究竟是好是壞?我認為,在金融業和政府正完善綠色金融生態系統的同時,公眾意識正在增強已經值得鼓舞。雖然爭論時有發生,但我們應該明白一個行業的發展必會經歷「出牙期」階段,最重要是不能忘記我們有共同的目標──為了自己及下一代,為我們可持續發展的環境作出貢獻。

Many financial practitioners have discussed the need for better, more transparent reporting and disclosure for corporates on sustainable finance. To achieve this goal, standard setting is an important component, and it is not surprising that different stakeholders will have different preferences on such standards. Even more fundamentally, what constitutes ‘green finance’ can also be different amongst countries.

One such example is financing in coal projects. Some organizations have taken views that coal is not sustainable – e.g. the World Bank has published an Energy Sector Directions Paper back in 2013 to address the use of fossil fuels. At the same time, investing in ‘cleaner coal technologies’ in some countries would meet the criteria of a green bond issuance in these locations.

Is this essentially good or bad? I think whilst the finance industry and governments shape up the ecosystem of Green Finance, it is encouraging to see that the awareness is increasing. Whilst there will be debates or even arguments, let’s understand that evolution of an industry will naturally go through ‘teething periods’, and let’s also not forget that we all have same goal – to contribute to environmental sustainability, for ourselves, and also for our next generations.

ESG評審 = Beauty Campaign?

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問 Si-Ling Wong

早前香港樂施會發表了針對50間恒生指數成份股公司所做的「企業社會責任透明度調查報告」,調查了這些藍籌股公司在CSR方面的披露水平。除了樂施會,不少機構團體都有發佈以CSR、ESG為主題的指數或評審,比如香港中文大學商學院商業可持續發展中心的「香港企業可持續發展指數」、香港品質保證局(HKQAA)與恒生指數公司合作的「可持續發展指數系列」等等。海外較著名的有FTSE4Good、Dow Jones RobecoSAM及最近因A股入摩而為人認識的MSCI。

各家都有自己的評分準則,筆者近日跟這方面的專家聊天時,對方亦表示此類評級比較主觀,始終人人心裏對是非黑白、正義都有不同的量度,每個行業、社會又有其獨特性,一個統一而又為大眾廣納的評審系統著實不易。有人能一統天下固然理想,但若有一個能被本土社區認可的基準實在已經不錯。

觀乎現今市場普遍的ESG評審標準,為保持客觀性,大都以審視公司的年報及CSR報告為基礎,再邀請公司填寫問卷,遞交附加資料,以評核其表現。筆者能明白這methodology透明度高且結果的可辯性低,但會做報告的公司是否就真實代表該公司在ESG做很多、做很好?我不肯定……

如果有機構能擬訂出一套方法來挑出大家都喜歡、同意的好公司便厲害。有點像選美,不是每屆戴上后冠的香港小姐都有絕對觀眾緣,能選到朱玲玲、李嘉欣、麥明詩、馮盈盈這麼受歡迎的Miss Hong Kong也不容易呵!期待這個標準的誕生呢~