Hong Kong’s financial sector recognises the opportunities for carbon markets to expand and evolve as the world begins in earnest to de-carbonise in order to fight climate change. Hong Kong businesses, especially those operating internationally, such as those in aviation, shipping, banking, insurance, property development, and power generation already know markets are changing and growing.
Guest speaker Ian Johnson, Chairman of IDEAcarbon, at a workshop co-organised by Civic Exchange and the British Consulate General and supported by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, explained how carbon will emerge as an asset class of its own as the market becomes more transparent and sophisticated. He called for “the standardisation of carbon credits to enable buyers to verify the quality of the outcome for their investment” and added, “carbon trading requires a professionalisation of the market with an integrated approach – one that combines market forces with government regulations.”
Christine Loh, CEO of Civic Exchange, emphasised: “There is now a critical mass of people in Hong Kong who see both the responsibility and the business opportunities presented by climate change. Policy needs to support business and the people to adopt low-carbon choices. With the business sector growing interest, there is a good chance to interact with local and national policy makers to facilitate to change the regulatory framework. Hong Kong and our companies can lead by measuring their carbon emissions and design products, services and instruments to participate in the low-carbon transition.”
A spokesperson for the British Consulate General added: “This event rightly raises the issue of carbon markets, which is a priority for the UK government. We believe that carbon trading is essential for the development of an effective carbon price to reflect the damage-cost of emissions. We welcome this discussion in Hong Kong amongst the financial community, and support Hong Kong’s greater participation in this market.”
“HKEx was pleased to support today’s Carbon Trading Workshop. Today’s event helped raise public awareness of emissions reduction efforts and issues related to environmental sustainability,” HKEx Chief Executive Paul Chow said. “It also provided an excellent opportunity for HKEx, market participants and the other workshop participants to exchange ideas on the financial tools which may help us work towards the common goals in the areas that were discussed.”