Hong Kong and Ireland Sign Green Finance Agreement

Hong Kong’s Green Finance Association (HKGFA) and Sustainable Nation Ireland (SNI) have signed an agreement which will see them collaborate closer on various green finance matters of mutual interest.

Mobilising the world’s financial centres is essential to making progress on climate change and sustainable development. Dublin and Hong Kong are both founding members of the G7-backed UN Environment Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) global network. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed to promote closer cooperation between Hong Kong and Ireland’s financial centres.

Stephen Nolan, CEO of Sustainable Nation Ireland, which is mandated in the Government’s IFS 2020 strategy with positioning and promoting Ireland as a green finance hub, signed the MoU on behalf of SNI. Ben McQuhae, Vice President and Special Advisor to the Chairman of the recently launched Hong Kong Green Finance Association, signed the MoU on behalf of HKGFA.

Hong Kong is preparing to become a leading regional and international green finance hub. Earlier this year the Hong Kong government announced a green bond issuance programme with a borrowing ceiling of HKD10 billion (approximately $12.5 billion), making Hong Kong’s the largest sovereign green bond issuance programme in the world.

This year has been a breakthrough year globally with the value of green bonds exceeding $155 billion in 2017, up from $82 billion in 2016. Last week, Ireland’s NTMA issued its first ever green bond, valued at €3bn. There is already an estimated €28bn in green finance activities underway in Ireland.

Commenting on the agreement, Minister of State for Financial Services, Michael D’Arcy, said: “Together with Hong Kong and other financial centres, Ireland is taking a leadership role on this agenda. I am delighted that today the Hong Kong Green Finance Association and Sustainable Nation Ireland have signed this important document. I look forward to seeing the fruits of their collaboration.”

A significant and growing number of financial centres are taking strategic action to contribute to tackling the global challenge through promoting green and sustainable finance, and to seize the related opportunity.

Policy makers in Dublin and Hong Kong have developed strategies and initiatives to stimulate and embed green and sustainable finance within their financial centres.

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