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FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong
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HKQAA launches Green Finance Certification Scheme

It aims to support environmentally-friendly investments.

The Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency has launched the Green Finance Certification Scheme last January 3 in an effort to accelerate Hong Kong’s green finance development, according to a press release.

The green finance scheme will support environmentally-friendly investments through the provision of third-party conformity assessments for green finance issuers.

The scheme, which is patterned over a number of international and natioanl standards on green finance, aims to enhance credibility and stakeholder confidence in green financial instruments, allowing issuers to connect to potential investors with the aid of Green Finance Certificates and Certification Mark. 

The press release added that the scheme evaluates the eligibility of green finance and corresponding projects by assessing the effectiveness of an Environmental Method Statement at pre- and post-issuance stages. 

Two types of certificate will be presented: Green Finance Pre-issuance Stage Certification which acts as an as-at certificate that requires validation of the adequacy of the Statement for delivering positive environmental effects whilst the Post-issuance Stage Certification requires annual verification of the implementation and effectiveness of the Statement regarding the proposed positive environmental effects.

Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury James Lau has welcomed the move by the HKQAA and said, "We are delighted to see that a number of enterprises have issued green bonds in different currencies in Hong Kong over the past year. We will continue to support the scheme and encourage local, Mainland and overseas enterprises to make use of the scheme and our capital markets for financing their green projects."

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