Climate Bonds Initiative and HKU Business School signed MoU on Promoting Green Finance Education in Asia

For immediate release

Climate Bonds Initiative and HKU Business School signed MoU on
Promoting Green Finance Education in Asia  

HKU Business School Becomes CBI’s 1st Academic Partner in the World to
Develop a Green Bonds Programme

(Hong Kong/London: 20 September 2018) Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) and Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong (HKU Business School) have reached consensus on joining hands to provide training on green finance for students in Asia.  This first-ever academic collaboration between CBI and one of the world’s leading academic institutions marks a joint commitment of both parties in bringing green finance education to young talents at an early age.

In an additional development, HKU Business School has also joined Climate Bonds Partners Programme, becoming the first CBI Partner in Hong Kong and the first academic partner in the world with whom CBI is developing a programme specific to green bonds which will be included in the academic curriculum.

Collaboration between CBI and HKU Business School consists of the following elements:
1.    Introducing green finance to the Undergraduate Curriculum of HKU Business School
2.    Offering Internship Programme for students of HKU Business School
3.    Undertaking joint events to promote green finance

Market education and capacity building lie at the core of CBI’s work around the world. Since its inception, CBI has focused its efforts on informing and educating market participants about the benefits and challenges of green bond issuance with an emphasis on the importance of accelerated green finance in the global transition to a low-carbon economy.

HKU Business School strives to nurture first-class business leaders and foster academic and research endeavours to serve the needs of Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of the world in the new Asia-led economy.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreed between the two organisations, CBI and HKU Business School will work together and raise awareness in the Asian region on the wider agenda of achieving a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy, and also, complement the work of the Hong Kong government in filling the local talent gap. 

Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative, said, “In recent years, we have seen extreme weather conditions occurring in Asia and the rest of the world consistent with the scientific predictions. Sadly, we have lost the initial battle, to avoid climate change.  Lying ahead of us is the next battle – to stop runaway climate change with its catastrophic impacts.  This is the battle that the younger generations will be called forth to fight in the coming decades.”

“The HKU Business School is looking to the future in educating prospective leaders in the region on the importance of mitigation, adaptation and climate-resilience. Harnessing green capital, building knowledge and skills around green finance is crucial to mobilising the public and private investment required to meet the urgent climate challenge we all face.”

Prof. Hongbin Cai, Dean of HKU Business School, said “HKU Business School and the University are at the forefront of promoting awareness of climate change and taking actions against a worsening climate. We are consciously incorporating important issues related to climate change, ethics, and leadership into our teaching, research, and knowledge exchange programmes. In the past few years, we have held large activities on campus to discuss environmental and climate issues including corporate social responsibility and green bonds.”

“Leveraging the strength and network of CBI, an international and authoritative non-profit organisation that mobilises green bond markets, we plan to offer new courses to undergraduate students to increase their understanding and contribution to this area. We believe the collaboration will help nurturing business talents with global perspective, not only in the financial and business arenas, but also in sustainable development of the world.”

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Professor Dragon Tang, Professor in Finance, Faculty of Business and Economics, HKU (left) and Ms. Ivy Lau, General Manager China Office, Climate Bonds Initiative (right).

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Professor Dragon Tang, Professor in Finance, Faculty of Business and Economics, HKU (left) and Ms. Ivy Lau, General Manager China Office, Climate Bonds Initiative (right).

For Chinese version of the press release, please click here.

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Climate Bonds Contacts:

Andrew Whiley
Head of Communications & Media
London
+44 (0)7506 270 943
andrew.whiley@climatebonds.net

Ivy Lau
General Manager China Office
Hong Kong
+852 6431 1275
ivy.lau@climatebonds.net

HKU Business School Contacts:

Christina Chung
Assistant Director
Communications and External Relations
HKU Faculty of Business and Economics
+852 3917 1692
+852 9092 2699
chungmc@hku.hk

Choi Yiu
Manager
Communications and External Relations
HKU Faculty of Business and Economics
+852 3917 6153
+852 9166 6522
choiyiu@hku.hk

Notes for Journalists

About Climate Bonds Initiative

The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy.

It undertakes advocacy and outreach to inform and stimulate the market, provides policy models and government advice, market data and analysis and administers the Standards & Certification Scheme. For more information, please visit www.climatebonds.net.

About HKU Business School

Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong (HKU Business School) strives to nurture first-class business leaders, and foster academic and research endeavours to serve the needs of Hong Kong, mainland China and the rest of the world in the new Asia-led economy. As Asia’s premier international business school, the School engages leading scholars from all corners of the globe who instil in students global knowledge with an Asian perspective. HKU Business School attracts top students from Hong Kong and beyond. It admits the highest proportion of non-local undergraduate students amongst all Faculties at HKU. Three of its undergraduate programmes are ranked among the University’s top 10 programmes. 

The School’s full-time MBA programme has a strong Asia and China focus, and the programme has been ranked Asia’s no. 1 in the World MBA Rankings released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) for eight consecutive years from 2010 to 2017. Students can opt for an overseas exchange opportunity to supplement their campus learning in Hong Kong: a London track at London Business School, a New York track at Columbia Business School or a Hong Kong/China track at Fudan University. 

HKU Business School also offers an elite EMBA-Global Asia programme, jointly with CBS and LBS, for globally-focused senior executives and professionals. The programme was ranked the world’s best joint EMBA programme in the Global EMBA Rankings 2018 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). Our International MBA Programme, delivered in Shanghai in collaboration with Fudan University, was the first of its kind when it was launched in 1998. 

The School is fully accredited by the European Quality Improvement Systems (EQUIS) and the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). 

Additional Information: www.fbe.hku.hk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hkubusinesseconomicsfaculty
Twitter: www.twitter.com/hkufbe
Weibo: http://www.weibo.com/hkufbe
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5013122

About Climate Bonds Partners Programme

Banks, institutional investors, private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and governments are eligible to join as Climate Bond Partners to help grow a market of green and climate bonds.

Partners support investor and stakeholder outreach and education projects centred on growing robust and¬¬¬ sustainable green bond markets that contribute to climate action and low carbon investment. Partners assist in developing initiatives to grow investment in climate finance solutions, participate in different market development committees & help define policy agendas for sector, country & sub-national green bond development programs.  A list of Partners is available here.

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Details of the Collaboration between HKU Business School and the Climate Bonds Initiative

Background for Promoting Green Finance Education

Green Finance refers to the financing of green investments. Corporations established to promote environmental protection (e.g. electric car companies) and address climate change can seek financing through the Green Finance markets. Traditional corporations (e.g. railway companies, construction companies) are gradually introducing green elements into their businesses. Banks, meanwhile, need to verify the “green” nature of the projects when offering loans, so as to prevent companies from obtaining financing through the green markets for projects that are in fact not up to standard. It is worth noting that Green Finance projects are not charity projects. Through green financing, corporations can connect with diversified investors and build stronger investor loyalty. Subsequently, cost of issuing green bonds and obtaining green loans will drop.

As there is an increasing need for corporations and institutes to take into consideration environmental factors in future business development, it is foreseeable that the demand for Green Finance talents in Hong Kong, the Belt and Road region as well as the Greater Bay Area will increase significantly. Career prospects of university students with relevant knowledge and skillset will be promising. Promoting Green Finance not only helps increase environmental awareness among young people, but also motivate them to take up social responsibilities.

Introducing Green Finance to the Undergraduate Curriculum

Starting from 2019 academic year, Green Finance will be integrated into Impact Investing, a new three credit elective course for HKU Business School students. It will cover the “three steps” of Green Finance, which includes:

Developing green projects — What kind of projects are suitable for green financing?
Financing green projects — How to identify investors?
Evaluate the effectiveness of the projects — Are the completed projects truly eco-friendly? Are they cost effective? What are the criteria for evaluation? Shall these projects be improved?

To enrich the contents of the curriculum, academics of HKU Business School will deliver lessons on Green Finance, while the Climate Bonds Initiative (CBI) will invite practitioners in this area to share their experiences with the students.

HKU Business School will explore the possibility of developing the Impact Investing course into a HKU Common Core course in three to five years. (All HKU Undergraduates are required to complete six Common Core courses across four areas during their years of study. HKU provides a series of Common Core courses for them to select from.)

The School also considers organising summer learning trips to North Europe, for students to examine the local green financial systems, which are more mature. Another possible development direction is introducing Green FinTech to the curriculum. Green FinTech means combining Green Finance with Financial Technology. For example, big data analytics can be applied to collect and analyse information of green projects, while Blockchain technology can be used to track the progress of projects funded through Green Finance, so as to ensure that it complies with relevant environmental standards.

The Internship Programme

Through CBI’s arrangements, HKU Business School students will be taking part in a number of research projects funded by international organisations, multilateral development banks, and large financial institutions. They will also participate in CBI’s events in Hong Kong and Mainland China, to build up their interpersonal network with Green Finance professionals.

Other Educational Initiatives

CBI has been organising diversified events to educate the public on Green Finance. HKU Business School, on the other hand, plans to organise on-campus conferences and seminars to increase understanding of Green Finance among HKU students.

Besides, HKU Business School is having discussion with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority on a potential co-operation in training senior professionals on Green Finance accreditation and Green Finance promotion.

For Chinese version of the fact sheet, please click here.

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