The Korea Herald


The Inaugural One Earth Summit Closes with Call for Global Public-Private-Philanthropic Partnerships for Effective Climate Action


Published : March 27, 2024 - 00:10

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Over 1,000 influential leaders and changemakers gathered in Hong Kong at the One Earth Summit to chart the path forward for a sustainable future

HONG KONG, March 26, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- The inaugural One Earth Summit, convened by Institute of Sustainability and Technology (IST), concluded successfully yesterday (March 25) at Regala Skycity Hotel in Hong Kong. The premier global gathering for international sustainability leaders attracted more than 1,000 influential leaders and changemakers from global corporations, the financial sector, start-ups, foundations, media, civil societies, and academia who engaged in action-focused dialogues for achieving the net-zero, nature positive transition for the world during the full-day Summit.

The opening ceremony of the Summit was officiated by The Hon John Lee, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region: "Under the premise of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong has long established its robust financial infrastructure, together with the rule of law, a market-oriented and internationalised business environment, internationally aligned regulatory regimes, and the free and unfettered flow of information, people and capital. These strengths, together with our fast-rising prowess as an innovation and technology centre, make Hong Kong the ideal nexus for building partnerships, for driving the innovative solutions the world needs to promote sustainability."

The Hon Paul Chan, Financial Secretary of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region also delivered his opening remarks at the Summit's gala dinner later in the day, "As Asia's green finance centre, with green and sustainable bonds issued by us accounting for one-third of Asia's total, Hong Kong is well-positioned to help match funds with green projects. Besides, we possess high-quality professional services that help ensure projects' alignment with international green standards. We have also put in substantial resources in education and training programmes to nurture talents. We are fully committed to cultivating a comprehensive green and sustainable finance ecosystem that will support the great green transformation."

The Hon Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, announced the launch of a roadmap within this year to provide a transparent and well-defined pathway on sustainability reporting for businesses in Hong Kong.

"Our vision is to be among the first jurisdictions to align the local sustainability disclosure requirements with the ISSB Standards, as we consider it essential to showcase our commitment to reinforcing Hong Kong's leading position on the international sustainable finance map and solidifying the competitiveness of businesses in Hong Kong to address the global demand for sustainability disclosure," Mr Hui said.

Organised by the Institute of Sustainability and Technology, co-organised by the World Economic Forum's Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA) Initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum as the Knowledge Partner, and with the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and Invest Hong Kong (InvestHK) of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as the Host Partners, the Summit is a first-of-its-kind platform in Asia Pacific that focuses on putting climate pledges into action through driving strategic partnerships that transcend cultural boundaries, divisions, and disciplines.

Prof Poman Lo, Founder of Institute of Sustainability and Technology and convenor of the One Earth Summit said during the welcome remarks, "One Earth Summit seeks to unite the world in saving our one and only home – Mother Earth. Our vision is simple but ambitious – to transform dialogue into action, competition into collaboration, and transition risks into investment opportunities. The global climate crisis places us at a critical juncture in the history of humankind. We could either continue on a path of conflict and destruction. Or we can choose to transcend above boundaries and divisions and join forces in our fight against climate change in this crucial Decade of Action."

During the opening ceremony, Ms Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director, World Economic Forum, also delivered her welcome remarks. The kick-off of the Summit also featured video messages delivered by H.E. Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations; Prof Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum and Global Co-Chair, Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA); and Mr Ray Dalio, Founder, CIO Mentor, and Member of the Bridgewater Board and Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA) Global Co-Chair.

Following the welcome remarks, the Summit's platinum partners including Dr Peter Lee Ka-kit, GBS, JP, Chairman, Henderson Land Group and The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited; Mr Chavalit Fredrick Tsao, Chairman, IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group; Founder, OCTAVE Institute; and Mrs Amy Lo, JP, Chairman, UBS Global Wealth Management Asia; Head and Chief Executive, UBS Hong Kong delivered their speeches on the future of sustainable technology and finance in Asia, before the opening keynotes delivered by H.S.H. Prince Maximilian und zu Liechtenstein; Mr Jim Coulter, Founding Partner and Executive Chairman of TPG; and Dr Robin Zeng, Founder, Chairman and General Manager, Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL).

Under the theme of "Planetary crossroads: Investing in innovations for a sustainable future", almost 20 sessions and panel discussions took place during the full-day Summit, facilitating dialogue, debate and alignment across many perspectives on the path forward to address global sustainability challenges.

During the Summit, speakers explored various topics focusing on five distinct areas: Water & Nature-based Solutions; Infrastructure & Urban Development; Food & Agriculture; Energy Transition; and Materials & Industrial Decarbonisation. Other leading speakers from the Summit included (in alphabetical order of first name):

  • His Highness Sheikh Ali Rashed Ali Saeed Al Maktoum, Member of the Ruling family in Dubai
  • Prof Arunava Majumdar, Dean of the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability
  • Mr Jean Todt, United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Road Safety
  • Mr Jingdong Hua, Vice Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB)
  • Ms Joey Wat, Chief Executive Officer of Yum China
  • Prof Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
  • Dr Manar Al Moneef, Chief Investment Officer of NEOM
  • Mr Peter Nobel, Chairman of the Nobel Sustainability Trust
  • Mr Siddharth Chatterjee, United Nations Resident Coordinator in China
  • Prof Tony Chan, President of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)
  • Prof Yi Cui, Director of Sustainability Accelerator of Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

After the full-day Summit, guests gathered at the gala dinner for an evening dedicated to investing in Asia's future climate change and sustainability leaders. The gala dinner aimed at showcasing the hands-on solutions and best practices for the global climate challenge, and fostering collective efforts for the net-zero transition in Asia. Fireside chats and panel discussions focusing on the pathway to net-zero in areas such as impact investing, capacity building, adoption of sustainable technologies also took place during the gala dinner, highlighting insights from government representatives, investors, corporate leaders, and key thought leaders in the field of sustainability and innovation.

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