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ESG Monthly (August 2021)

This month’s highlights: IPCC publishes new climate report; China executes first cross-border carbon trading transaction; Hong Kong SFC publishes circular on climate; South Korea proposes carbon neutrality roadmaps for the nation

A brief commentary on environmental, social, governance news and developments globally and in key Asian markets this month:


  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its first major report in seven years (the first part of IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) series) which takes stock of the latest science on climate change. Findings show that the link between human activities and increasing extreme weather event have strengthened even further, and the world will reach tipping point by 2030, 10 years earlier than expected, if no immediate change happens. (IPCC, August 2021)
  • In the United Kingdom, the UK hydrogen strategy was announced which sets out the UK’s approach to develop a thriving low carbon hydrogen sector to meet low carbon hydrogen production capacity targets by 2030. (Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, August 2021)

  • In the United States, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved for Nasdaq to introduce listing requirements on corporate board diversity. (CNBC, August 2021) President Biden also set a new goal for half of all new US vehicles sales to be electric by 2030. (Reuters, August 2021)

In key Asian markets…

  • In China, a first cross-border carbon trading transaction was executed, recording a purchase of 10,000 tons of China Certified Emission Reductions (CCERs) from a solar power project in the Kubuqi Desert by an institution and an individual in Hong Kong. (Caixin, August 2021)
  • In China, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and State Council jointly released a five-year plan outlining tighter regulation particularly covering areas including national security, technology and monopolies. (Caixin, August 2021)
  • In Hong Kong, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) published a circular to amend the Fund Manager Code of Conduct (FMCC), requiring fund managers to disclose their approach to managing climate-related risks. (SFC, August 2021)
  • In India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally announced the launch of National Hydrogen Mission, a roadmap for India to achieve self-reliance in energy by 2047, through generating hydrogen as a carbon-free fuel from renewables (The Economic Times, August 2021)
  • In South Korea, the Presidential Committee on Carbon Neutrality announced three roadmaps for the nation to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The committee will collect feedback from all sectors of society, and is scheduled to announce the final version of its 2050 carbon neutrality plan in October ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties in November. (The Korea Times, August 2021)

Holly So, CFA
ESG Specialist

October 07, 2021

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