HKEX launches international carbon marketplace for transition to Net Zero

Rick Steves

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX) has launched a new international carbon marketplace that seeks to connect capital with climate-related products and opportunities in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Asia and beyond.

Going by the name of Core Climate, the carbon marketplace will allow participants to source, hold, trade, settle and retire voluntary carbon credits through the Core Climate platform, thus facilitating transparent trading of carbon credits and instruments to support the global transition to Net Zero.

This marks another step in HKEX’s commitment to building a one-stop solution for trading, custody and settlement in international carbon markets.

Nicolas Aguzin, Chief Executive Officer at HKEX, commented: “Addressing the climate crisis demands decisive action and focused, significant regional and global cooperation. The role of capital markets is instrumental in finding the solutions to this, the most pressing issue of our generation. As a global East/West superconnector, HKEX is strongly positioned to build a vibrant and sustainable voluntary carbon market that brings together climate action ideas, capital and dialogue. Core Climate is the latest in HKEX’s commitment to securing the future of our planet – playing an important role in supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy, investing in our shared future, for today, and tomorrow.”

Glenda So, Co-Head of Markets at HKEX, said: “We see Core Climate developing to become essential infrastructure, part of our highly connected international ecosystem, matching investment capital with new climate projects, technologies and business models. This will accelerate the shared Net Zero transition and secure a sustainable future for coming generations. I would like to thank all the members of the Hong Kong International Carbon Market Council for their valuable insight, guidance and support as we bring Core Climate to life. We are excited to go on this journey with you.”

Carbon credits from internationally-certified carbon projects

The Core Climate service is a sustainability-focused initiative to help achieving a low-carbon economy, something of which HKEX has been a vocal advocate for many years.

HKEX was one of the first exchanges to mandate ESG disclosures and closely follows the development of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures framework.

Carbon credits on the platform will come from internationally-certified carbon projects from around the world, including carbon avoidance, reduction and removal projects. All projects listed on Core Climate are verified against international standards, such as the Verified Carbon Standard by Verra.

HKEX’s ESG initiatives include STAGE, ESG Academy, carbon market council

HKEX’s recent activity in the ESG field includes the launch of STAGE, an online portal providing information, access and transparency on a wide range of sustainable, green and social investment products. That was in 2020.

The exchange operator also supports market education on environmental, social, and governance factors through the “ESG Academy”.

In early 2022, HKEX signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the China Emissions Exchange to explore cooperation in tackling climate change and promoting sustainability through carbon.

In July, HKEX formed the Hong Kong International Carbon Market Council, which comprises leading corporates and financial institutions focused on supporting the development of an international carbon marketplace.

The group has plans to further explore climate-related opportunities, in collaboration with the Council and key stakeholders across the climate value chain, to enhance Core Climate over time.

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