Ben McQuhae & Co at Bloomberg’s Carbon Event “Opportunities and Headwinds for Hong Kong’s Voluntary Carbon Market”

Our associate Jessica Ha joined Christine Loh from HKUST, Pubudu Abayasiri from CLP, Sam Li from SMBC, and Vicky Cheng from Bloomberg on the panel discussion “Developing the Voluntary Carbon Market in Hong Kong” to discuss the opportunities and headwinds for Hong Kong’s voluntary carbon market (VCM).

A few takeaways from the panel:

  1. The shift towards sustainability is in essence a systems transition which necessitates us to consider the environment and people / communities in society as important stakeholders in decision-making. We need to put a price on ecosystem services so that we can make sure natural capital is given due weight at the decision-making table in corporates and government policies.
  1. Carbon markets (pricing in GHG emissions reduction) is just the beginning of the sustainability transition. As we progress through the transition, more environmental assets and markets need to be developed to redesign the current way our economic system works.
  1. To scale the VCM, important issues such as the quality of carbon credits and legal uncertainties surrounding the VCM need to be addressed and resolved.
  1. Regulators can contribute by introducing smart regulation to enhance price discovery, integrity and disclosures on transition pathways. Regulators of each jurisdiction should also prioritize establishing a defined position on the legal nature of carbon credits, as well as developing a clearly defined framework as to how Article 6 and the VCM can work together to complement each other’s efforts in supporting global decarbonization.
  1. Scaling the VCM is a collaborative effort. Stakeholders need to work together to build a robust, high integrity VCM.

Thank you Bloomberg for picking up the baton to build a community for stakeholders to learn and build the VCM here together in Hong Kong, and for the opportunity to be part of this interesting exchange.

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