監管機構的火星問題

香港地球之友綠色金融顧問

大約在半年前開始, 我們陸續收到上市律師或保薦人的詢問, 知道了現在公司上市程序, 港交所和證監會會開始要求在上市文件內披露公司的ESG 訊息, 從一開始只是港交所要求披露公司ESG內部政策, 到最近證監會要求披露環保數據, 以及要求上市公司遵從聯合國倡議的氣候變化財務披露,短短數月內,監管機構的要求, 數度提升到一個頗嚴格的層次, 作為關心地球命運的人,看到這一個正面發展,當然有點老懷安慰。

數年前開始, 聯合國倡議氣候變化財務披露,主要希望大企業能披露未來氣候變化對企業產生的危與機,與及在不同狀況下,氣候變化對企業的實質財務狀況的影響。自從聯會國提出這個倡議後, 行內行外不少人眾說紛紜,大家都想知道,所謂對財務實質影響是如何披露,企業應如何進行不同狀況的假設與分析,再在假設的不同情況下,對財務報表的表現會有何影響。

所有在大學接觸過過環境科學的同學,都曾學習所謂外在影響,並進行模擬計算,但當我們面對實際的公司運作時,這種模擬計算對財務的影響,並不容易進行,因為理論上即使我們提出一萬個外在變化對公司影響,任何人也可以提出第一萬零一個,而每一個外在影響的可能性也難確定, 更遑論對報表的影響了。自聯合國提出這個倡議後, 筆者注意到全球大部分大企業, 仍處於你眼望我望的階段, 沒有那一家認真落實這個披露, 但大企業們都會開始認真分析當中的危與機。

證監會問到申請上市的企業們這個話題, 我們作為顧問, 當然要為顧客解難, 客戶們問我們, 他們只是簡單的製造業, 有甚麼氣候變化帶來的危與機? 我們唯有和客戶進行腦震盪, 天馬行空的提出, 再玩選秀遊戲, 危方面嗎, 當然有啦, 如果你在上海的公司面對大雨水浸, 員工上不到班, 可對公司損失啊, 原材料可能會貴了很多啊….., 客戶打趣說, 很羡慕做印刷線路版的廠家, 他們的車用線路版, 危方面, 汽油車會被電動車取代, 機方面, 電動車會取代汽油車, 很容易啊, 不需要創意啊…..對不起, 這些腦力震盪充滿創意的幻想, 真對我們地球的氣候上升有正面影響? 聯會國這個倡議, 除了對能源電力等公司或規模較大的公司有意義外, 對申請上市的公司真有意義? 與其考驗我們的創意答題能力, 監管機構為甚麼不實質地提出一些簡單易明, 現實可行, 而又對地球真有實質作用的要求? 例如定下碳中和時間表, 定下使用再生能源時間表, 定下再用物料時間表, 甚至要求塑料使用披露, 都很易明, 而且很直接地真有實質效果。

證監會在今年8月發出了一份文件, 內容是要求所有基金公司, 在12到15個月的寛限期後, 對管理的資產進行氣候變化財務披露, 有基金經理立刻打電話給在下, 問他們是股票基金, 當中有過百隻股票在倉內, 每月換手率約百分之二十, 又進行了不少金融工具對沖, 他們如何進行氣候變化財務披露? 在下參與環保已有三十年光境, 希望看到的, 是實質效果, 而不是走在條例的世界前端, 問一些星球人才有能力答的問題, 地球現在已夠危急了, 我們不需要火星的智慧來幫忙。


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ESG vs 比特幣

Joe Lam, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

美國 SEC 「默許放行」美國首支比特幣期貨 ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF」($BITO)。BITO 10 月 19 日於紐約證券交易所(NYSE Arca)正式上市,首日便湧入超過十億美元交易量、更引動比特幣現貨再度創下歷史新高。

ESG vs 比特幣

目前,環境、社會和治理(“ESG”)問題是投資者的首要考慮。 這些社會問題對分配者很重要,即使它們可能會降低預期回報。 此外,氣候變化、多樣性、包容性和平等等社會問題現在是許多人的重大人生決定(包括投資)的關鍵考慮因素。

因此,在做出投資決定之前,典型的投資者可能會從 ESG 的角度評估比特幣。

從歷史上看,比特幣的 ESG 記錄喜憂參半。

從積極的一面來看,比特幣的分散式賬本技術( distributed ledger)和不可變的區塊鏈, 從治理的角度賦予了它強大的屬性。 比特幣沒有中央權威 (Decentralisation) ,支持積極的開放治理環境。

此外,比特幣為世界上所有人提供了輕鬆獲得可預測的真正主權貨幣供應量(上限為2100萬個),這些貨幣不能被中央銀行操縱或被政府膨脹(QE),這一事實使比特幣成為從社會角度看,是最強大的資產之一。 作為唯一可以輕鬆提供自由和免受政權控制的資產之一,更不用說在過度膨脹的經濟中提供相對穩定性,比特幣提供了幾乎無與倫比的社會效益。

另一方面,比特幣的環境記錄很差。 比特幣在區塊鏈的能源密集型工作證明算法,預計將消耗大約 130 太瓦時的能源,約佔全球電力消耗的 0.6%。

區塊鏈的力量是一個能源密集型的過程,使黑客無法破解分佈式賬本,這也是其最大的弱點。無論您採用哪種方式削減它,比特幣在環境方面的排名都非常糟糕。

此外,比特幣採礦產出 3.07 萬噸電子垃圾, 環保能源亦不能代替電子垃圾消耗。 在區塊鏈我們帶來新的希望及財富, 我們亦都應該去繼續致力研究解決環保的問題及方法。

當今 ESG 投資的爭議在於“漂綠”的概念。

漂綠是指提供關於產品如何更環保或可持續的虛假或誤導性信息的行為。它通常被認為是營銷旋轉,其中綠色營銷被欺騙性地用於說服消費者相信產品是環保的。投資管理業務以漂綠而臭名昭著,旨在收集資產並為無差異的產品收取更高的費用。

從歷史上看,ESG 投資基金根據 ESG 評級購買證券。這些評級通常來自指數提供者,例如 MSCI,他們對可投資證券背後的公司的生態友好程度做出判斷。不幸的是,ESG 評級並沒有為環境帶來切實的好處。

最近,我們看到一些投資公司購買碳信用額,試圖用綠色掩蓋他們的資金。懷疑者對碳信用額持悲觀態度,因為其中許多是為了獎勵實際上對環境無益的活動。一些碳信用額被發放給砍伐樹木的森林所有者,這是對破壞環境的行為的獎勵,而不是為地球提供積極利益。

批評者警告說,過時的碳信用額度市場正在不斷增長,這些信用額度對地球沒有任何碳效益,因為他們曾經打算資助的碳節約項目長期以來一直在運行,而沒有銷售信用額度的好處。市場“包含數億噸劣質碳信貸”。


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碳中和論壇完滿結束 應對氣候危機關鍵十年

於英國格拉斯哥舉行的第26屆聯合國氣候變化大會(COP26)步入尾聲,在全球正在尋求共識,討論如何達致淨零排放的同時,香港地球之友連同世界基準聯盟(WBA)昨日舉行「碳中和論壇」,邀請了財經事務及庫務局副局長陳浩濂先生,JP世界基準聯盟主席Paul Druckman先生香港交易所綠色及可持續發展金融主管許淑嫺女士為主講嘉賓,剖析全球及本港綠色金融發展的最新情況,以及探討亞太地區石油和天然氣企業在低碳轉型方面的表現。

加強下代應對氣候危機能力 建立完善綠色金融教育體制

今屆聯合國氣候變化大會一再發出警告指,全球應對氣候危機的時間所剩不多,世界只有八年時間將碳排放減半,並控制全球氣溫於工業化前的水平。面對當前的氣候危機,香港地球之友認為,綠色金融是緩解氣候變化的必要工具,而且為香港的氣候和未來做好準備,甚至加強下一代應對氣候危機的能力至關重要。有見及此,香港地球之友建立本港最完善的綠色金融教育體制,並於去年底推出全港首個ESG分析師認證計劃(CESGA®),在過去12個月,本會已經培育了超過100名認證ESG分析師,下月即將舉行的CESGA®考試,考場容量亦將增加一倍。同時,設立了香港首個ESG獎學金,鼓勵年輕人投身可持續金融的領域。

創立首個ESG獎學金 培育ESG人才

今年,香港地球之友設立了CESGA®獎學金計劃,旨在鼓勵下一代在香港本地及大灣區從事ESG事業,並投身於香港綠色金融發展。申請人須於過去三年畢業於本港任何一所大學,並取得學士學位,且學術成績良好(累積平均績點在4.0級中不少於3.0);或香港任何一所大學的全日制學生,其累積平均學分績點在4.0級中不低於3.0。每位獲獎者將獲得10,000港元獎金,用於參加2022年3月的CESGA®實體考試。

如欲了解更多CESGA®獎學金詳情,請按此查閱更多。

WBA發表《石油和天然氣行業基準》全球國企比私企轉型慢

論壇的另一焦點,是就WBA最近發表《石油和天然氣行業基準》最新報告進行圓桌研討會。石油和天然氣公司是最大的碳排放源之一,監察該行業的低碳轉型表現對實現減排目標尤其關鍵。此基準主要評估世界上最有影響力的100家上市及國營石油和天然氣公司,評估企業是否符合《巴黎協定》的要求,控制平均氣溫升幅在1.5°C的水平。

研究指出,國營企業的轉型速度比私營企業慢。全球國營企業表現差劣,其面臨的氣候風險比上市公司和私營公司大。在基準中的41家國營公司的排放量佔56%,佔全球最有影響力的100家企業預計排放量的一半以上。除了之外,更令人擔憂的是,不少相關國家都沒有作出淨零排放的承諾,而非政府的持份者推動變革的能力亦有限。報告建議,公司必須對其短期和長期的減排目標更加透明,讓外部持份者能充分評估其對低碳轉型的承諾。


新聞圖片:

圖片1:香港地球之友今日舉行「碳中和論壇」,討論如何達致淨零排放。
(左起:香港地球之友榮譽司庫吳溢穎女士、香港地球之友董事及綠色金融事務召集人張振宇先生、香港交易所綠色及可持續發展金融主管許淑嫺女士、香港地球之友主席
吳方笑薇女士、香港特區政府財經事務及庫務局副局長陳浩濂先生、香港地球之友榮譽秘書麥礎允女士、香港地球之友行政總裁洪藹誠博士)
圖片2:香港特區政府財經事務及庫務局副局長陳浩濂先生, JP
圖片3:香港交易所綠色及可持續發展金融主管許淑嫺女士
圖片4:圓桌會議的座談嘉賓就石油和天然氣企業在低碳轉型方面的表現進行討論。
(左起:香港地球之友董事及綠色金融事務召集人張振宇先生、瑞士信貸(香港)亞太區證券研究董事謝穎匡先生)

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Carbon Neutrality Forum Concluded Successfully The Critical Decade of Tackling the Climate Crisis

As The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, UK is coming to a close, the world is still seeking consensus on ways to achieve net zero emission. Friends of the Earth (HK) has collaborated with World Benchmarking Alliance to co-host the “Carbon Neutrality Forum” yesterday and invited Mr. Joseph Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Hong Kong SAR government, Chair of World Benchmarking Alliance, Mr. Paul Druckman and the Head of Green and Sustainable Finance from the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, Ms. Grace Hui as key speakers at the forum and to analyze the latest developments in green finance at a global and local level, also to discuss the performance of Asian oil and gas companies’ low carbon transition. The aim is to strengthen the ability of our next generation to cope with climate crisis and to further establish and improve the green financial education system.

Strengthen the ability of our next generation to cope with climate crisis and to further establish and improve the green financial education system

This year’s UN Climate Change Conference has repeatedly warned the little time we have left for the world to combat climate change. The world has only eight years to halve carbon emissions and control global temperature to pre-industrial levels in order to contain the crisis we are now facing.

Friends of the Earth (HK) believes Green finance is a necessary tool to help mitigate climate change and plays an integral part in helping our future generation. In view of this, Friends of the Earth (HK) is committed to establish a comprehensive Green Finance Education System by introducing the first internationally recognized Certified Environmental, Social, Governance Analyst (CESGA®) certification program in Hong Kong at the end of last year. Over the past 12 months, Friends of the Earth (HK) have successfully trained over 100 locally Certified ESG Analysts. Enrollment for the physical examination of the CESGA program has doubled for the December intake and the inaugural CESGA Scholarship program is established to encourage younger generation to take part in the green finance industry.

Inaugural CESGA Scholarship Program to nurture young ESG talents

This year, Friends of the Earth (HK) has set up the CESGA Scholarship Program which aims to encourage the future generation to pursue an ESG-inspired career in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area and also to commit to green finance development in Hong Kong.

We welcome applicants with a bachelor degree holder from any university in Hong Kong graduated within the last 3 years and with good academic standing (a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 in a 4.0-scale); or A full-time student in any universities in Hong Kong with a cumulative  grade-point average of at least 3.0 in a 4.0-scale.

Each awardee will receive a grant of HK$10,000 to attend the CESGA examination in the ‘presential’ / physical format in the Hong Kong examination center for the 2022 March intake.

WBA has published “The Oil and Gas Industry Benchmark” and Global State-owned Enterprises are Comparatively Slower to Transit than Private Enterprises

Another focus of the forum is the recent report issued by WBA where “The Oil and Gas industry Benchmark” was referenced at the panelist’s discussion. Oil and gas companies are one of the largest carbon emitters in the world and monitoring the performance of the industry’s low-carbon transition becomes critically important to achieving emission reduction targets. “The Oil and Gas Industry Benchmark” primarily assesses the top 100 most influential listed oil and gas companies in the world against the pledge made at Paris Agreement which is to limit the Global average temperatures from raising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. Research has indicated that State-owned enterprises are slower to transform than private enterprises. Poorer performance implies a greater risk posed for State-owned enterprises compared with listed and private enterprises in relation to climate risk. 41 state-owned enterprises are responsible for 56% of the total emission of the 100 companies covered by the benchmark. In addition, many of the related countries fails to commit to any net-zero targets which is extremely worrying. NGOs and other related stakeholders are also limited in their ability to promote change. The report suggests that the key to success is for the company to set short to long term emission reduction targets and allows for transparency so that external stakeholders can fully assess the progress made.


News Pictures:

Picture 1: Friends of the Earth (HK) organized the “Carbon Neutrality Forum” today to discuss the performance of Asian oil and gas companies’ low carbon transition.
(Left to Right: Ms. Athena Ng, Board Governor and Honorary Treasurer, Mr. Anthony Cheung, Board Governor and Green Finance Convenor, Friends of the Earth (HK), Ms. Grace Hui, Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX), Mrs Mei Ng, BBS, Chairperson of Friends of the Earth (HK), Mr. Joseph Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury The Government of Hong Kong SAR, Ms.Serena Mak, Board Governor and Honorary Secretary, Dr. Jeffrey Hung, Chief Executive Officer, Friends of the Earth(HK)).
Picture 2: Mr. Joseph Chan, JP, Under Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury The Government of Hong Kong SAR
Picture 3: Ms. Grace Hui, Head of Green and Sustainable Finance, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited
Picture 4: Roundtable panelists discussed the performance of oil and gas companies in the low carbon transition.
(Left to Right: Mr. Anthony Cheung, Board Governor and Green Finance Convenor, Friends of the Earth (HK), Mr. Horace Tse, Head of Asia Pacific Energy Securities Research, Credit Suisse)

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All Eyes On COP26

Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

The U.N. summit in Glasgow, known as COP26, brought together thousands of diplomats, scientists and environmental activists from around the world to assess progress since the Paris climate accord was signed in 2015. It is being held from 31 Oct 2021 to 12 Nov 2022.

What is COP26?

COP stands for “Conference of the Parties.” The parties refer to 197 nations that agreed to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change at a meeting in 1992. Officials from 197 countries gather in one to discuss how they are solving the climate crisis. This is the 26th time countries have gathered under the convention, hence, COP26. COP26 was due to be held in 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

What happens at COP meetings?

They are a platform for achieving consensus on cutting emissions and adapting to the extreme weather events caused by rising temperatures and sea levels. A sticking point of negotiations over the years has been allowing for poor countries to develop their economies while recognizing that rich nations have grown wealthy because they were able to pollute.

In 2009, the COP process suffered a major setback after leaders failed to agree on a global deal in Copenhagen. Six years later, talks were back on track, leading to the Paris Agreement — the international effort to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius compared with pre-industrial levels, with a “stretch target” of 1.5°C.

Why is this year special?

America’s climate envoy John Kerry says the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow is the “last best hope for the world to get its act together”. Mr Kerry told the BBC that key countries were pursuing policies that border on being “very dangerous”. It’s time for signatory countries to update their initial pledges to help achieve the Paris goals. These promises are called NDCs — Nationally Determined Contributions — and most date back to 2016, when the Paris Agreement took effect. It was clear that initial commitments wouldn’t be enough, so countries agreed to come back in 2020 with “enhanced” NDCs. But many countries haven’t yet submitted their new plans, including China and India, some of the world’s biggest emitters.

Part of the problem is that wealthy countries haven’t delivered on their decade-old pledge to mobilize $100 billion a year to help poor countries deal with the hazards of climate change, such as storms, floods and rising sea levels. Countries such as Bangladesh and Indonesia say they can’t raise their emissions ambition without more cash from developed countries.

Who is lagging on their commitments?

While many European countries and U.K. have increased their climate aid, the U.S. hasn’t kept pace. At the UN on Sept. 21, Biden doubled the latest U.S. pledge to $11.4 billion annually beginning in 2024, but that still has to be approved by Congress, and activists argue it doesn’t come close to the U.S.’s fair share for the fund. The U.S. fell behind partly because former President Donald Trump temporarily pulled the U.S. out of the Paris accord.

Days before it hosts United Nations negotiations over how to ramp up the global fight against climate change, the U.K. released a sweeping plan to decarbonize its economy by targeting everything from the finance industry to home heating. What are the other challenges?

The global energy crunch also threatens to make the Glasgow talks more difficult as fossil fuel producers and some developing nations use the crisis to argue for a slower transition. 

What about China?

President Xi Jinping has not left China for almost two years but there are hopes that he may yet make a surprise appearance. In a boost to the summit, China hailed Cop26 as ‘deeply significant’ and pledged to send a delegation, which will include special climate envoy Xie Zhenhua, who said that China wanted to work with the international community and would do its best to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.


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