Insights from Panel Discussion: Navigating Climate-related Financial Disclosure and Transition Risk

FoE (HK) Green Finance Team

Thrilled to participate in the Earth Forum on 22nd April 2024, the Earth Day, and enjoyed a fruitful panel with the theme “How to manage transition risks and ensure robust climate-related financial disclosure?” The panel was moderated by Mr. Anthony Cheung CESGA, the EFFAS Representative of Asia and joined by the below experts from diverse backgrounds as panellist:

  • Dr. Stan Ho, Chief Representative, SynTao Green Finance International Limited
  • Ms. Christine Kung, Senior Director and Head of International Affairs and Sustainable Finance, SFC
  • Ms. Valerie Kwan, Director, Stewardship & Corporate Engagement, Asia Investor Group on Climate Change
  • Mr. Roy Leung, President, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Ms. Diana Parusheva-Loyery, Managing Director, Head of Public Policy and Sustainable Finance, Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association

In this panel discussion on climate-related financial disclosure and transition risk management, experts explored the challenges and opportunities associated with addressing climate change in the financial sector. Panellists delved into crucial topics such as transparency, taxonomy implementation, investor engagement and also the imperative of the topic of “just transition”.

Below are my summary taken away from the thought-provoking conversation.

  1. Transparency and Climate-Related Financial Disclosure

Panelists unanimously stressed the importance of transparency and climate-related financial disclosure. They emphasised that disclosure forms the bedrock of trust between investors, stakeholders, and the broader public. While acknowledging that disclosure alone may not mitigate all transition risks, it was recognised as a crucial starting point for initiating the transition process. The discussion highlighted the need for consistent standards, accountability, and comparability of data to achieve transparency in climate-related financial disclosures.

2. Implementing Clear Definitions and Taxonomies

Clear definition and taxonomy were identified as essential tools for effective transition risk management. Panelists emphasised the need for unambiguous criteria to determine green, amber, and also the rejected categories. The Singapore’s Asian taxonomy, which employs a traffic light system and specific transition deadlines for industries, served as a notable example. The discussion highlighted that establishing clear timelines and deadlines is critical for the successful implementation of taxonomies and enabling a smooth transition to a sustainable future which should be considered by setter.

3. Going Beyond Reporting: Investor Engagement and Metrics

Panelists mentioned that investors are playing a key role in driving the transition and also emphasised the importance of going beyond the reporting and assessing additional metrics to measure companies’ readiness for the facing the transition. Ambitious target setting, decarbonisation strategies, and capital allocation were identified as key metrics that provide investors with a deeper understanding of a company’s commitment to the transition. The Climate Action 100+ Initiative, which evaluates companies’ compliance with Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, was highlighted as a valuable mechanism for investor engagement.

4. Collaboration and Guidance for Effective Transition Risk Management

The panel discussion also emphasised the need for collaboration and engagement among investors, companies, regulators, and governments to effectively manage the transition risks. Participants recognised the role of governments and regulators in providing guidance, setting clear standards, and harmonising policies related to climate-related financial disclosure and transition risk management. However, the collective effort of all other stakeholders is also required for achieving a sustainable and resilient future.

5. Towards  “Just Transition”

One of the hot theme in the market was the concept of “Just Transition.” It has been highlighted that the imperative of ensuring the shift towards a low-carbon economy is fair and equitable for all stakeholders which should include workers and communities affected by the transition. The principles of a just transition, such as job creation, reskilling and upskilling programs, and community engagement, were stressed as vital components in fostering an inclusive and sustainable future. Everyone should take care and prepare to participate.

In conclusion, this panel discussion brightened the multidimensional nature of climate-related financial disclosure and transition risk management. Transparency, clear definitions, and taxonomies were identified as key enablers for effective disclosure and transition planning. Investor engagement, metrics beyond reporting, and collaborative efforts emerged as essential elements in managing transition risks. Moreover, the imperative of the “Just Transition” underscored the need to prioritise fairness, equity, and social considerations throughout the transition process. By embracing these insights and working together, the financial sector can play a leading role in driving the transition to a sustainable and resilient future.


感謝Now TV邀請香港地球之友接受了Now TV財經節目的專訪,分享我們在香港推動ESG的努力,並淺談ESG分析師認證與ESG職場發展。

在訪談中,香港地球之友董事會成員兼名譽秘書麥礎允女士強調ESG專業資格的重要性,並介紹了歐洲金融分析師聯合會 (EFFAS) 提供的環境、社會及管治分析師認證課程 (CESGA)。隨著商業領域日益關注環境、社會和治理 (ESG) 的問題,對ESG專業分析師的需求顯著增加。在當今的商業中,將企業ESG整合和可持續實踐納入日常運營變得更加重要。



CESGA (培訓或資歷識別碼: GTP-260223) 是綠色和可持續金融培訓先導計劃(下的合資格培訓及資歷之一。申請人在完成合資格培訓或資歷後,可申領最多相當於該培訓或資歷相關費用的80%的資助(全日制學生申請人可獲最多100%的相關費用的資助),以一萬元為上限,並受本計劃下的條件所約束。

2024年6 月和 9 月 CESGA 考試現已開放報名,課程詳情:




立即觀看完整訪談,請瀏覽在Now TV網站上的內容! 


NowTV Finance Programme Highlights the importance of the Certification of ESG Professional

We want to express our gratitude to NowTV for giving the Friends of the Earth (HK) the chance to talk about our efforts in promoting ESG in Hong Kong, introduce ESG Analyst Certificate and also career development in ESG.

During the interview, Ms. Serena Mak, the Board Member and Honorary Secretary of FoE(HK), emphasized the importance of professional qualifications in ESG and introduced the Certified ESG Analyst programme (CESGA) offered by The European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (EFFAS). With the growing focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) issues in the business sector, the demand for professional ESG analysts has significantly increased. In nowadays business, corporate ESG integration and sustainable practices becomes more critical into daily operations. 

Hong Kong has a unique opportunity to establish itself as a leading hub for green and sustainable finance in the Asia-Pacific region, given the rising global demand for ESG analysts. ESG efforts involve collaboration, cross-functional communication, and integration across various departments within an organization. FoE (HK) introduced CESGA to Hong Kong to encourage more individuals to enter the ESG industry and equip themselves with the necessary knowledge and analytical skills.

CESGA is a globally and widely recognized professional designation that sets the gold standard for enhancing skills in ESG investing and sustainable finance. The programme is highly credible and competitive. To keep up with the maturing ESG market, EFFAS regularly reviews and updates the CESGA course content to reflect the latest developments and regulatory trends.

CESGA (Programme Identification Code: GTP-260223) is also one of the Eligible Programmes under the Pilot Green and Sustainable Finance Capacity Building Support Scheme ( Upon completion of Eligible Programmes, applicants can apply for a subsidy of up to 80% of the fees (full-time students are eligible for up to 100% subsidy, capped at $10,000).

Registration is now open for the June and September 2024 CESGA Examinations. For more details, visit:

Furthermore, to support young talent interested in pursuing a career in the ESG field, FoE (HK) and The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited are proud to present the CESGA Scholarship Programme 24/25. This scholarship aims to encourage students and fresh graduates to engage in sustainable finance and ESG principles. Awardees will receive a generous $10,000 grant to cover their CESGA course and examination fees for the December 2024 or March 2025 intake.

For more information about the CESGA Scholarship Programme 24/25, visit:

Remember, embracing ESG principles is crucial for a sustainable future. Join us in making a positive impact by becoming a certified ESG analyst with CESGA!

For the full interview on the Now TV, please visit:  

Strategic Imperative of Diversity

Michele Leung, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

Companies today recognize the strategic imperative of diversity, and gender inclusion in capital markets is a crucial aspect of this. Research suggests a strong correlation between the presence of women on corporate boards and positive financial performance, though a direct causal link has yet to be established.  One study also found that companies with sustained board diversity – boards with at least three women for at least three years – also exhibited better ESG Ratings, primarily on the basis of their environmental strengths.

Of course, it’s not just about the numbers. The value of gender diversity extends beyond financial gains, it could help companies leverage a greater pool of talent in their leadership succession planning, better positioned to find the right mix of expertise and backgrounds to weather the storms and take advantage of emerging opportunities in a rapidly changing world. 

The recent Women on Boards (WoB) progress report[1], an annual report highlights trends across markets and sectors for large- and mid-cap companies, provides an overview of the state of diversity on boards and in other corporate leadership roles. In 2023, it is observed progress on diversity continued, but at a slow pace. Women held 25.8% of board seats at large- and mid-cap companies, rose 1.3% from previous year, but growth slowed. Boards were more diverse than executive suites, both in terms of gender and ethnicity.  Only 9.1% of board-chair roles were held by women. Although the number is still very low, this percentage has more than doubled since 2019.

It’s encouraging to see the overall percentage of women on boards among APAC companies continue to trend upward in 2023, women held 18.2% of board seats in 2023, up 1.6% from 2022. Australia (40.8%), Singapore (25.3%), Hong Kong (19.0%) recorded the strongest improvement among APAC markets, for Hong Kong, female representation at corporate boards increased by 3% or more. The improvement was fueled in part by the regulatory measures introduced in a few markets that aim at promoting diversity practices.

Capital market plays an important role in supporting the development of gender-focused investment products. For example, in Japan, women are a historically under-utilized resource, and studies have indicated that their greater participation and advancement in the workforce could have substantial benefits for the economy. With the stagnating economic development in Japan, the Japanese government has set out explicit goals to increase women’s participation and promotion in the business world. It then drives the demand for exposure to companies that are promoting and maintaining gender diversity among their workforce, as well as the related investment products.

Looking ahead, regulators and investors shall continue to broaden their focus beyond gender diversity, and evaluate a company’s performance in gender pay gap, female representation at other senior leadership roles, as well as the transparency of associated policies, targets and progress.

[1] Women on Boards and Beyond: 2023 – MSCI

April-May 2024 Events on Green Finance / 2024年4-5月綠色金融活動一覽

Check out the above calendar for the fantastic green finance events for Apr to May 2024! Interested to join and know more about the events? Click the links below for details:


[1] Creative Collision 2024

[2] PRI Academic Seminar Series: Reena Aggarwal – Why do Investors Vote against Corporate Directors?

[3] ESG Investing Symposium

[4] Earth Forum 2024: Transition Finance Towards a Net Zero Economy

[5] China Update – What’s hot, what’s not in responsible investment (to RSVP, please email

[6] Finance and the Global Biodiversity Framework: navigating the road to COP16

[7] Nature at a Tipping Point

[8] Ethical Finance ASEAN Virtual Summit

[9] SFi Asian Family Impact Summit: How Capital Meets Purpose