Anthony Cheung, Board Governor & Green Finance Convenor Friends of the Earth (HK)

Tomorrow is the World Environment Day of a New Decade. “Restore the Earth with Sustainable Finance” is our vision of the 2021 World Environment Day. A top priority concern of this New Decade, undoubtedly, is the urgency to tackle Climate Change and the socio-economic and environmental impacts that we all face.

Reprioritize

Friends of the Earth (HK) has reprioritized Decarbonization, Green & Sustainable Finance, Urban Forestry and Regeneration & Sustainable Development as its core focus. We launched our Green Finance Roadmap and campaign 3 years ago. We believe coupling Sustainable Finance with Environment Policy is an effective way to incentivize decarbonization in Asia and actualize Hong Kong’s carbon neutrality goal by 2050.

Revive

According to a stakeholder opinion survey we conducted last year, public awareness and understanding of green & sustainable finance is low in Hong Kong. In order to revive stakeholders and public interest in Green Finance, we have organized our regular Green Finance Connect Series, with Roundtables, Webinars, Training Courses and the first Green Finance Blog in Asia. We are proud and grateful for the input of many local and global green finance experts as advisors, bloggers and contributors.

In addition, we believe it is crucial to upgrade Hong Kong’s green finance expertise and to counter ESG greenwashing.

In this regard, Friends of the Earth (HK) has joined hands with the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies (the EFFAS) has launched the internationally certified ESG Analysts Accreditation (CESGA®), the first of its kind in the Asia Pacific region.

Reinforce

We are undoubtedly keen to reinforce Hong Kong’s global standing and leadership as an international financial centre. Building global alliance with international institutions and stakeholders to leverage their expertise and collaboration to raise Hong Kong’s positioning, standards and competitiveness in Green Finance is a strategic approach. 

That is why Friends of the Earth (HK) has reached out and successfully partnered and become allies with the World Benchmarking Alliance (WBA), United Nations’ Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative (the UN PSI), the EFFAS and the renowned Sustainable Finance Research Group (SFRG) led by the University of Hamburg in Germany. Green & Sustainable Finance is an evolving business; and it is without doubt that we need mutual empowerment.

Repurpose & Reshape

Tomorrow is World Environment Day. While we consider how to recover from the global pandemic, let us also deliberate how to Repurpose Finance and how to Reshape a Circular Economy and a Carbon Neutral Future.

On this note, let me end with a quote from Paul Hawken, author of Ecology of Commerce:

“We can just as easily have an economy, that is based on healing the future, instead of stealing it. We can create assets for the future, or take the assets of the future…”

It’s time to Reshape a “Green and Sustainable” Decade!


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