Hong Kong delays implementation of Listing Rules Amendments for Climate Disclosures to 2025

By: Carolyn Sng and Sook Young Yeu

The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong Limited (HKEX) had been consulting on proposals to enhance climate-related disclosures under its environmental, social and governance framework, with a previously proposed implementation date of 1 January 2024. The HKEX announced on 3 November 2023 that the implementation date of the Listing Rules amendments will be postponed to 1 January 2025.

The HKEX proposals were informed by the IFRS S2 Climate-related Disclosures exposure draft published by the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The ISSB has since published the final IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards and is expected to publish by the end of 2023 an adoption guide (ISSB Adoption Guide) to support jurisdictional regulators to help them with their implementation considerations and scalability and phasing-in measures for the application of the ISSB standards. The HKEX has indicated that it will take into account the recommended approaches on the scaling and phasing-in of requirements available under the ISSB Adoption Guide when finalising the Listing Rules amendments. Accordingly, the implementation date of the Listing Rules amendments will be postponed to allow issuers more time to familiarise themselves with the new climate-related disclosure requirements.

Other than the proposed Listing Rules amendments, there are currently no proposals for mandating compliance with ISSB standards for non-listed entities in Hong Kong. Entities may, nonetheless, choose to voluntarily adopt the ISSB standards. In addition, the Hong Kong government is working with financial regulators and stakeholders to develop a roadmap on the appropriate adoption of the ISSB standards for Hong Kong’s financial services to align with international standards.

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