Karen Ho, Green Finance Advisor of Friends of the Earth (HK)

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX) just published last Friday its Consultation Paper “Review of the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Reporting Guide and related Listing Rules”.

One of the key focus of its consultation paper is climate change. HKEX proposed to require disclosure of policies on measures to identify and mitigate the significant climate-related issues which have impacted, and those which may impact the issuers, and the action taken to manage them. It proposed to revise the Environmental KPIs to require disclosure on a description on target set regarding emissions, energy use and water efficiency, waste reductions etc and steps taken to achieve them. It also proposed to require disclosure of Greenhouse Gas Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. All of disclosure mentioned are subject to “comply or explain”.

Better Disclosure means Better Market Efficiency

As we discussed in our blog last week, HKSAR Government is catching up on Green Finance and we are pleased to see that HKEX is seeking to strengthen its ESG rules. Whilst the Task Force on Climate-related financial disclosure (TCFD) Recommendations focus on material risks and opportunities from climate change perspectives, HKEX’s Guide applies more broadly across all environmental and social areas.

It is clear that climate change has already begun to affect global business, with extreme weather, threatening company assets and supply chains. As the environment evolves, companies that improve their energy efficiency and create new products and services will survive and companies that are slow to change will struggle.

Investors rely on ESG data to identify which companies may be best positioned to succeed in a sustainable world. FoE welcomes HKEX’s commitment in strengthening disclosure on ESG and climate-related information as it would help to drive better market efficiency. 

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