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Hong Kong’s June event to train Asian officials in sustainable finance.

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TLDR: Hong Kong to host sustainable finance training event for Asian policymakers, regulators, and finance professionals

Hong Kong will be hosting a green and sustainable finance training event in June for policymakers, regulators, and finance professionals from developing nations. The event is aimed at helping emerging markets advance their knowledge and skills in sustainable finance. The event is co-organized by the Institute of Finance and Sustainability, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, and the Capacity-building Alliance of Sustainable Investment. The event will cover topics such as policymaking, regulation, sustainable finance instruments, carbon markets, greenhouse gas emissions accounting, and sustainability disclosures verification. The organizers plan to create 100 hours of learning content and attract an audience of 100,000 people at its events by 2030. The event will also have in-person sessions where participants can discuss how to apply sustainable finance principles and best practices adopted by developed markets in their home countries.

Key points:

  • Hong Kong will host a green and sustainable finance training event in June for policymakers, regulators, and finance professionals from developing nations.
  • The event is aimed at helping emerging markets advance their knowledge and skills in sustainable finance.
  • Topics covered include policymaking, regulation, sustainable finance instruments, carbon markets, greenhouse gas emissions accounting, and sustainability disclosures verification.
  • The organizers plan to create 100 hours of learning content and attract an audience of 100,000 people at its events by 2030.
  • The event will also have in-person sessions where participants can discuss how to apply sustainable finance principles and best practices adopted by developed markets in their home countries.

Hong Kong will play host to a green and sustainable finance training event in June for several hundred policymakers, regulators and finance professionals in dozens of developing nations. Beijing-based Institute of Finance and Sustainability will join financial regulator Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and international cooperation platform Capacity-building Alliance of Sustainable Investment (CASI), in hosting the three-day event aimed at helping emerging markets advance their knowledge and skills in sustainable finance, said Ma Jun, president of the institute.

The institute is a policy and product think tank and an international cooperation platform for green finance and sustainable development both in China and abroad. “After many years of sustainable finance development, globally we see that the majority of the sizeable transactions are happening in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries (OECD) and China,” Ma told the Post. “The rest of the emerging markets are lagging behind in terms of capacity, which has held back their development of sustainable finance.”

Last year, the G20 nations’ sustainable finance working group called on the international community to strengthen capacity-building efforts in developing nations, to support an orderly, just and affordable climate transition, that requires trillions of US dollars of annual investment. In response, the institute initiated the international cooperation platform CASI, which was launched last December at the United Nations global climate summit Cop28 in Dubai.

CASI’s founding members include the institute, the HKMA’s Infrastructure Financing Facilitation Office, the Beijing-backed Silk Road Fund, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, finance education and professional standards body CFA Institute, besides HSBC and Standard Chartered Bank. Other members include the Hong Kong Green Finance Association, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Trade Development Council, audit and consulting firms Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG and PwC.

Ma, who has had stints as an economist with Deutsche Bank, World Bank and the IMF, is president of the association and former co-chair of the G20 sustainable finance working group. CASI, which plans a secretariat office in Hong Kong, will co-organise with the HKMA the in-person event in the city in June for participants from Asia, besides online courses and webinars for a wider audience, Ma said. CASI will draw on its members’ Hong Kong resources to provide training during the event.

A similar in-person event will be organised by CASI in Brazil in April, targeting the Latin America region, with another one scheduled to be launched in the Middle East and Africa region in the second half of the year, he added. Covering topics including policymaking, regulation, sustainable finance instruments, carbon markets, greenhouse gas emissions accounting and sustainability disclosures verification, CASI plans to create 100 hours of learning content and intends to attract an audience of 100,000 people at its events by 2030, Ma said.

During the in-person sessions, participants will discuss how to apply sustainable finance principles and best practices adopted by developed markets, in their home countries, he noted. “This involves a lot of South-South exchange,” he said, referring to emerging economies. “It is not just the advanced economies saying I have done this and you [can] copy my model. [Actually], you need to take into account a lot of local conditions and constraints.”

The CFA Institute, a 60-year-old investment education, research, and standards-setting body, is a key content generation and distribution partner of CASI. “We were known as the gold standard for financial analysts, we are now known globally as the green standard for education in sustainability … what we want to do is to bring our expertise on training delivery,” said Paul Moody, managing director of global partnerships and client solutions at CFA Institute. “Hong Kong is a center for growth in knowledge around sustainability and ESG [environment, social, governance].”

There are around 200,000 Chartered Financial Analyst charter holders in 160 markets globally, including more than 9,000 in Hong Kong. Some 16,000 candidates in Hong Kong have registered for the CFA Institute certificate in its ESG investing program since its launch in September 2021, around a third of the global total of about 48,000. In late 2022, the city’s government launched a subsidy scheme for local sustainable finance training and professional qualifications acquisition.

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