As the Covid–19 pandemic persists, the urgency for a green recovery agenda has become evident for policy makers and corporate leaders alike. Whether the tools of sustainable finance can be successfully deployed will be crucial not only to the speed of economic recovery, but also to ensure the new growth is on the right track to meeting long–term decarbonisation targets and tackling the climate emergency.
Our flagship event, the CarbonCare® Conference, was held online this year for three green finance centres — Hong Kong, London and Singapore — to meet and share insights and strategies on how best to utilise sustainable finance for post-Covid Recovery”.
In this 2-day virtual conference, we were most honoured to have invited many distinguished guests and panellists. As Britain is going to host COP26 next year in Glasgow, the Acting British Consul General in Hong Kong, Ms Tamsin Heath set the scene for the Conference by highlighting the latest climate ambitions announced by the British Government in significantly reducing its carbon emissions as well as in contributing to global climate actions.
Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of Green Finance Institute and former Lord Mayor of the City of London, gave us the keynote speech pointing out that even in a year that has been dominated by a disabling pandemic, we can see a revolution taking place in understanding and using climate finance.
The theme of the panel for Day 1 was “Post–Covid Recovery: Green Banking and Climate Resilience”. Distinguished panellists included:
- Mr Water Cheung, Chairman, Carbon Care Asia & Senior Partner, StormHarbour Securities
- Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of Green Finance Institute and former Lord Mayor of the City of London
- Mr Frank Leung, Head of Banking Policy, Hong Kong Monetary Authority
- Ms Martina Macpherson, Senior Vice President, ESG Solutions Group, Moody’s Corporation
Moderated by CCA Director Mr John Sayer, this panel offered the following key takeaways:
- Advancing standards and taxonomies and ensuring robust data are identified as the most needed activities to improve the prospects for green finance.
- There is a growing interest for finance that will serve and protect biodiversity. The Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures is an example of this development.
- Building back better requires us to focus on environmental and social aspects equally.
The theme of the panel for Day 2 was “Post–Covid Recovery: Corporate ESG and Sustainable Finance Tools”. Distinguished panellists included:
- Ms Helena Fung, Head of Sustainable Investment, Asia Pacific, FTSE Russell
- Ms Grace Hui, Head of Green & Sustainable Finance, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd
- Mr Bertrand Jabouley, Head of Sustainable Finance APAC, S&P Global Ratings
- Prof Lawrence Loh, Director, Centre for Governance, Institutions & Organisations, NUS Business School, National University of Singapore
Moderated by CCA CEO Ir Albert Lai, this panel offered the following key takeaways:
- The sustainable finance market witnesses a sophistication of the offering and in parallel an increasingly stringent demand from investors and regulators.
- The pandemic has given sense and importance to the social aspect in ESG investing.
- Harmonization and alignment of standards are needed but this is a difficult process that will take time to accomplish.
Four virtual workshops were also held alongside the Conference, featuring:
- The story of CAFÉ: Carbon Accounting for Financed Emissions
- Setting Science–based Targets for Financial Institutions
- One step ahead: Solactive CarbonCare Asia Pacific Green REIT Index
- Application of Sustainability–linked Bonds for Asian companies
CarbonCare Conference 2020 – Day 1 (8/12/2020)
CarbonCare Conference 2020 – Day 2 (9/12/2020)
- (From left to right) Welcome remarks by Ir Albert Lai, CEO of CCA; scene-setting speech by Ms Tamsin Heath, Acting British Consul General in Hong Kong; and keynote speech by Sir Roger Gifford, Chair of Green Finance Institute and former Lord Mayor of the City of London.
- Distinguished panellists for Day 1: (From left to right) Mr Water Cheung, Mr Frank Leung, Ms Martina Macpherson.
- Distinguished panellists for Day 2: (From top left to right) Ms Helena Fung, Ms Grace Hui, Mr Bertrand Jabouley; (from bottom left to right) Prof Lawrence Loh and Mr John Sayer as the moderator.
- (From left to right) Introduction of the CarbonCare® Label scheme by CCIL CEO Mr Chong Chan Yau; and its sister scheme in Singapore (Brands for Good CarbonCare® Label) by Mr Alan Ng and Mr Wee Boon Siong, Director of CCA Singapore.
- Online workshop facilitators: (From top left to right) Dr Shelley Zhou, Ms Lam Wan Yee, Ms Ida Huang, Mr Jason Zeall; (from bottom left to right) Ms Lorène Delhoume, Ms Chloe Mok and Ms Xing Lan.