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Summit spotlights Hong Kong as climate leader, clean tech growth could lift economy

07 November 2011
Summit spotlights Hong Kong as climate leader, clean tech growth could lift economy

HONG KONG: Over 160 top business executives and government leaders from around the world discussed the low carbon economy's emerging opportunities, during the Business Summit on Climate Leadership 2011 which was organized by The Climate Group with HSBC as the convening partner.

This year the summit focused on the theme of 'Advancing Clean Growth for Sustainability' and the importance of green financing. Special emphasis was given on the role of Hong Kong in China’s path towards a low carbon future and also highlighted in China's Clean Revolution report, which was previewed at the event.

The top-tier speakers included Prof Shi Dinghuan, Counselor of the State Council and Former Secretary-General of Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China; Dr Lin Yaojun, Director, Resource Conservation, Environment and Climate Change, Guangdong Development and Reform Commission; Anita Fung, Group General Manager and CEO Hong Kong, HSBC; Andrew Brandler, CEO, CLP Holdings Limited; Ben Caldecott, Head of European Policy, Climate Change Capital; and Andre Schneider, Vice President, Global Energy Basel. Former British Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, addressed the Summit via video.

At the Summit, we presented The Clean Revolution, our three-year campaign run in partnership with the United Nations, the World Bank and C40, which aims to inspire, catalyze and enable a group of the world’s most influential business, government and thought-leaders to take transformational action on climate change, creating a tipping point for the low carbon economy.

Mark Kenber, CEO, The Climate Group, said: “A recent HSBC report estimated that low carbon business will grow to US$2.2 trillion over the next ten years. This should come as no surprise: opportunities in clean energy and resource-efficient technologies are becoming more evident and more significant than ever, with smart investors piling in to what will undoubtedly be the growth engines of the global economy for many years to come. Investing in the low carbon economy entails solid business benefits and makes business sense for companies in Asia-Pacific and all over the world. In an increasingly challenging economic environment, this type of investment is the best way forward for sustained economic growth, more jobs and enhanced energy security.

Anita Fung, Chief Executive Officer Hong Kong, HSBC, said: “The climate business is a key strategic initiative of HSBC globally. As the ongoing mainstream development of climate businesses will provide broad opportunities, Hong Kong is ideally placed to play an important role by participating in mainland China’s emergence as one of the fastest growing green economies globally. China’s evolving climate business will leverage Hong Kong’s standing as an international finance center, a capital raising centre and an offshore RMB centre, to finance and subsequently build market share within this space. Through our global commitment to sustainable projects and financing, HSBC will proudly build on its leadership role in this market.”

Teresa Au, Head of Corporate Sustainability Asia Pacific Region, HSBC, said: “Globalization is driving the off-shoring of carbon to Asia and as a result, most developing countries have higher per capita production emissions than per capita consumption emissions. This poses physical climate change risks to emerging economies but also offers a window to advance clean growth for sustainability. HSBC views climate change as a revenue driver, we will use our global network of specialists and customers to turn these opportunities into profit while addressing sustainability issues.”

This is the fourth consecutive year that we have held our annual flagship conference in Hong Kong, recognizing the crucial role Hong Kong is playing in driving forward China’s low carbon future

“Investment in sustainable energy in China grew 39% in 2010 to US$54.4 billion. Our latest China’s Clean Revolution Report shows that Hong Kong is a vital partner market for clean technology development in China. Clean technology is one of the industry sectors the Hong Kong Government has targeted to drive economic success – a fact recently re-iterated byDonald Tsang in his latest Policy Address. We are looking forward to showcasing the huge opportunities for Chinese business in investing in the country’s low carbon future,” said Changhua Wu, Greater China Director, The Climate Group. “The successful case studies we shared today definitely helped inspire leaders to commit to transformational action to achieve sustainable business success.” 

Businesses leaders across all sectors are increasingly realizing the new avenues of growth for their businesses generated by the Clean Revolution, and are shaping their business strategies and models to maximize this new revenue stream. Alongside this trend, the growth in clean technologies is now outpacing regulatory reforms as well as public pressure for a faster response to the global climate challenge.

“On a global basis, current market structure and policy environment are not conducive to clean energy investments. Investing in the commercialisation of any one technology involves large sums and carries extraordinary risk that is challenging for the private and public sectors,” said Andrew Brandler, CEO, CLP Holdings limited. “For a clean energy revolution to become a reality, we need to change the economics of clean energy technologies and support innovation in capital-light solutions. An effective price on carbon that is established via clear international and national frameworks is also a pre-requisite so that investors have greater certainty when structuring new models to finance the commercialization of clean energy technologies.”

“Sustainable development is not new to Swire. It has been a core business strategy for two centuries. Climate change challenges have therefore not fundamentally altered the way we manage our businesses, but they have made us more aware of the resource and environmental risks that the world in which we live now faces,” said J B Rae-Smith, Executive Director, Trading & Industrial Division, Swire Pacific Limited. “This has enabled us to identify opportunities, both to improve the way we do business and to improve the return for our shareholders and now forms a core part of the manner in which we encourage our staff to manage their respective businesses.”

Download the report

Read Changhua Wu's Blog

Learn more about The Clean Revolution

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