On January 15, 2023, South Korea’s Financial Supervisory Service (“FSS”) issued new guidelines (the “Guidelines”) (Korean language only) to enhance transparency on the methods and procedures used by credit rating agencies to perform ESG bond certification evaluations. In announcing the Guidelines, the FSS noted that, prior to their introduction, there were

On 20 December 2022, the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (the “Steering Group”) co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) and the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) announced that it has entered into a collaboration arrangement with CDP, an international non-profit organisation that runs the global environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions.

Continue Reading HKMA and SFC Cross-Agency Steering Group Announces Collaboration with CDP to Facilitate Climate-Related Risk Disclosures by Small and Medium Enterprises

On November 25, 2022, the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (SEHK) published a report on its analysis of ESG practice disclosure in Hong Kong (the Report). The Report sets out the SEHK’s findings of their review of compliance by Hong Kong issuers of the new ESG requirements implemented in July 2020, which focused on board governance, climate change, and other ESG issues (2020 Enhancements). We reported here on the related amendments to the SEHK’s Corporate Governance Code and the Listing Rules addressing the link between ESG and good corporate governance, ESG reporting and gender diversity.

Continue Reading Analysis of ESG Practice Disclosure by Hong Kong Stock Exchange

The Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) released a research report last week showing evidence that about one-third of global corporate green bond issuers are reaping the benefits of issuing green bonds without cutting down their greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions. This type of ‘greenwashing’ behaviour impedes progress on combating climate change and

At the G20 Summit being held in Bali this week, Indonesia President Joko Widodo and the leaders of the International Partners Group (IPG), co-led by the United States and Japan, announced the launch of the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP).  According to the joint statement released by IPG on 15 November 2022, the JETP aims

On 28 October 2022, the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (“HKEx”) launched Core Climate, an international carbon marketplace designed to allow for the trading of voluntary carbon credits and instruments, which provides a best-in-class, trusted market infrastructure and helps connect capital with climate-related products and opportunities in Hong Kong, Mainland China

The requirement for companies to conduct human rights diligence (“HRDD“) is increasingly being implemented by legislators across the globe.  For example, the EU is expected to adopt its draft corporate sustainability and due diligence directive in 2023. Importantly, the Directive will apply to Japanese companies and their subsidiaries if they meet certain criteria (for further information on the applicability of the directive to Japanese companies, read our earlier blog post here). Japanese companies are, therefore, being required to strengthen their HRDD processes as a result of the legislation of foreign jurisdictions (including the EU).

On 13 September 2022, the Japanese Government published its Guidelines on Respecting Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains (the “Guidelines“), which recommend that all enterprises engaging in business activities in Japan respect human rights in their supply chains and carry out HRDD.

Continue Reading Business and Human Rights: Japan publish Guidelines on Respect for Human Rights in Responsible Supply Chains

Interest in ESG investing continues to attract attention globally as policymakers and regulators around the world implement policies and regulations to direct or guide behavior and protect the interests of a wide range of stakeholders. Against this backdrop, we observe a rising challenge to so-called “woke capitalism”, particularly with the recent wave of anti-ESG sentiment

On October 12, 2022, the Green and Sustainable Finance Cross-Agency Steering Group (the “Steering Group”) co-chaired by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) and the Securities and Futures Commission (“SFC”) launched the Sustainable Finance Internship Initiative (the “Initiative”). The Initiative aims to create more internship opportunities in