Republic to collaborate with Hong Kong on green finance

Growing number of financial centres taking action to tackle environmental challenges

A growing number of financial centres are taking action to tackle global environmental challenges.

A growing number of financial centres are taking action to tackle global environmental challenges.

 

The Republic is to collaborate with Hong Kong as part of efforts to position the State as a hub for green finance.

A growing number of financial centres are taking action to tackle global environmental challenges through the promotion of green and sustainable finance.

Sustainable Nation Ireland (SNI), which merges cleantech cluster bodies Green IFSC and the Green Way, is targeting €250 billion of sustainable funds deployed in Irish enterprises by 2021.

It was set up in 2016 and tasked with helping the State achieve its climate change targets as well as helping Irish companies capture part of an estimated €85 trillion market.

SNI said on Tuesday it had signed a “memorandum of understanding” with Hong Kong’s Green Finance Association (HKGFA), under which both have agreed to closer collaboration on various green finance matters of mutual interest.

Earlier this year the Hong Kong government announced a green bond issuance programme with a borrowing ceiling of 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, the NTMA issued the Republic’s first ever green bond, valued at €3 billion. There is already an estimated €28 billion in green finance activities underway.

SNI chief executive Stephen Nolan said was “excited” about teaming up with Hong Kong, which is becoming a regional leader in the sector.

“Green finance is taking centre-stage in the world’s financial capitals,” he said. “We are really pleased today to have signed this important document with our Hong Kong counterpart. We are excited about where our collaborative efforts will take us.”

HKGFA vice president Ben McQuhae also welcomed the signing of the agreement, and said he looked forward to working with SNI.

“Mobilising green capital at speed and scale will require effective collaboration between international financial centres,” he said. “We look forward to exploring opportunities for collaboration with Sustainable Nation Ireland.

“Congratulations to our friends in Ireland on the recent issuance of your first sovereign green bond.”