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Environment Bureau holds workshop to enhance financial services sector's awareness of climate change risks (with photo)

     The Environment Bureau today (March 14) held a workshop for the financial services sector on climate change adaptation. The workshop, co-organised with the Business Environment Council, aimed to raise the sector's awareness of the climate change risks posed to business operation and investments so that any losses due to extreme weather events could be reduced by making early preparations.

     "There is no dispute that climate change is affecting different parts of the world," the Under Secretary for the Environment, Ms Christine Loh, said in her opening remarks. "I hope we will have a better understanding of the emerging risks we are facing after today's workshop, and we can take steps to close the gap between awareness and action to make our economy more robust and climate-resilient."

     The workshop attracted nearly 200 participants from the banking, insurance and reinsurance, accounting, investment and asset management sectors. During the workshop they shared and discussed strategies, best practices and successful experiences in adapting to climate risks. Local and overseas case examples of companies which had endured severe weather events, and the impacts of these events on investments, were discussed. Opportunities that have emerged from climate change adaptation were also explored.

     A Mainland delegation led by the Development and Reform Commission of Guangdong Province and the Finance Affairs Office of the People's Government of Guangdong Province also participated in today's workshop.

     Ms Loh remarked that regional co-operation is important to the Government's work in combating climate change. Today's workshop was part of the 2012-13 co-operation plan of the Hong Kong/Guangdong Joint Liaison Group on Combating Climate Change. She very much hoped that the workshop would enhance the co-operation and exchanges on combating climate change between Hong Kong and Guangdong.

     In her keynote speech at the workshop, the Director of International Cooperation at the Department of Climate Change of the National Development and Reform Commission, Ms Huang Wenhang, outlined the latest policies and measures for climate change adaptation, the overall strategy on the subject, and the mechanism for financing for climate change adaptation.

     The Environmental Protection Department completed a climate change consultancy study in 2010, which among other things identified the financial services sector as one of the sectors vulnerable to climate impacts in Hong Kong. The study recommended enhancing the sector's awareness of climate change and its impacts, and providing capacity building to the sector to enhance resilience in response to climate impacts.

Ends/Thursday, March 14, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:45


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