香港地球之友董事 麥礎允 / Serena Mak, Board Member of Friends of the Earth (HK)
在香港，令人鼓舞的是，金融機構終於開始向零售公眾發行與綠色金融相關的產品，這也與我們網誌的核心主題相互呼應 ―─ 隨著公眾意識的增強，市民對此類產品的需求將會日漸增加，而供應隨之而來，綠色金融的市場亦會有所增長。
現在同樣是一個良好時機，提醒大家於此網誌中曾不斷提及到的另一項信息―─ 關於綠色金融/可持續發展投資/ ESG（環境、社會與管治）和許多其他主題的標準仍需完善，到現時為止，將投資量化為「綠色/ 可持續」，仍然不像我們盼望般的那麼容易和透明。
也許我們能夠從中汲取教訓的，是綠色債券市場的發展。最近，我閱讀了國際貨幣基金組織 (IMF) 出版刊物中的一篇文章。綠色債券市場規模已顯著增長，單是2019年的上半年，綠色債券的發行量便超過1,000億美元。但是，一些被歸類為「可持續投資」的項目引起了一些懷疑（例如，歐洲石油公司出售的一些債券），投資者希望了解清楚他們的投資究竟有多少是確實投入到「可持續金融」計劃的。
At the beginning of 2020, following the theme of ‘review and forward looking’, let’s also take a moment to look at how far Green Finance has progressed in Hong Kong and also around the world.
In Hong Kong, it is encouraging to see financial institutions finally started to issue Green Finance related products to the retail public, this echoes with one of the core themes of our blog here as well – with public’s increased awareness, the demand for such products will increase, supply will follow, and the market for green finance will grow.
It is also a good timing for us to be reminded about another message that resonated throughout our blogs – that standards around green finance / sustainability investing / ESG and many other topics, still need to be refined, so quantifying an investment to be ‘green / sustainable’ still is not as easy & transparent as we would like it to be.
Maybe one lesson we can learn from is the evolution of the market for green bonds. Recently, I came across an article from IMF publication. The market for green bond has grown significantly in size, and in first 6 months of 2019 alone, issuance of green bonds has gone above USD 100 billion. However, some projects that are classified as ‘sustainable investing’ has raised eyebrows (e.g. some bonds sold by European oil companies), and investors are asking questions on how much of their investments has really gone into ‘sustainable finance’ initiatives.
So lesson for us is perhaps that as investors, we need to carefully select and review the investments in the Green / Sustainable finance category, and ensure that we understand the environmental impact of our investment, so that we can all chip in to provide financial resources to projects that will really have a positive impact for the future.
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