(Reuters) - The Hong Kong stock exchange (HKEX) plans to make it mandatory for companies listed there to make climate-related disclosures, as the city strives to stay competitive as a green and sustainable financial centre.
The bourse, which is a unit of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, on Friday launched a three-month consultation over the plan, proposed under its environmental, social and governance (ESG) framework.
The exchange says mandating all listed companies to make climate-related disclosures in their ESG reports marks an upgrade from the existing "comply or explain" regime, according to the consultation paper.
Issuers are currently permitted to skip such requirements if they can explain why they can't comply with environmental norms.
With the enhanced ESG regime, Hong Kong aims to maintain competitiveness as an international financial centre and further strengthen its position as a trusted venue for capital raising, according to the consultation paper.
Its government has set a target for Hong Kong to become carbon neutral by 2050 and outlined initiatives to reduce carbon emissions for a smooth transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy.
The exchange said its new disclosure regime is aligned with the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) Climate Standard, a global framework expected to be finalised by mid-2023, and will cover four aspects of governance: strategy, risk management, metrics and targets.
(Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru and Selena Li in Hong Kong; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and John Stonestreet)