Business and the Climate Change Challenge
9:00 – 12:30
L40, HSBC Main Building
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Climate change is now widely recognised as a key risk faced by business. Why is that? What are the expected and potential impacts? What is the scientific consensus that is changing the narrative and business conditions and creating an ever increasing sense that urgent changes must be made to meet the climate change challenge?

The meeting heard from two leaders of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is the UN body providing policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, options for adaptation and mitigation.

It also heard from the Director and Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory which advises the Hong Kong Government on climate change.

The sessions covered three IPCC Special Reports:

  1. Global Warming of 1.5 °C. This considers reviews the difference in climate change impacts of stabilizing temperature at a 1.5 °C versus a 2.0 °C increase. It also advises the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions required to stabilize temperatures at a 1.5 °C increase (published October 2018
  2. Climate Change and Land. This covers the impact of climate change on desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management and food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems (published August 2019
  3. The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. This covers the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans and on the Greenland and Antarctic Ice-caps. (published September 2019




09:00 Opening Remarks (VIDEO) Mr. Mukhtar Hussain, Group General Manager, HSBC 

Session I: Science basics, where are we now and possible pathways forwards
(Moderated by Mr. Robert Gibson, HKUST & Civic Exchange)


Projections on how climate is changing, the impacts these changes and reductions in carbon emissions required to avoid severe impacts 

Prof. Panmao Zhai, IPCC (VIDEO)
Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, IPCC (VIDEO)

Mitigation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Mr. J Robert Gibson, HKUST & Civic Exchange (VIDEO)

Panel Discussion (VIDEO)

Prof. Panmao Zhai, IPCC

Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, IPCC
Mr. Shun Chi-ming, Director, HK Observatory


Coffee/tea break

Session II: Adapting to the expected impacts, actions required to avoid catastrophe and business implications
(Moderated by Mr. Jonathan Drew, HSBC)


Global perspectives (VIDEO)

Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, IPCC

Hong Kong’s perspectives & action (VIDEO)

Mr. Pak-Wai Chan, Assistant Director, HK Observatory

Panel Discussion (VIDEO)

Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner, IPCC
Prof. Panmao Zhai, IPCC
Mr. Shun Chi-ming, Director, HK Observatory


Closing & networking


Mr. Pak Wai Chan is an Assistant Director of the Hong Kong Observatory. He specializes in research and development, and overseeing the climate information service including climate change studies in the Observatory. He has worked at the Observatory for over 25 years including aviation weather service with research experience on low level windshear/turbulence, meteorological instrumentation and mountain meteorology.  He holds a Master of Philosophy degree on Physics in University of Hong Kong and is a Chartered Meteorologist of Royal Meteorological Society.  He has published more than 180 refereed scientific papers in internationally renowned journals on meteorology.


Prof. Hans-Otto Pörtner is a Co-Chair of Working Group II of the IPCC for the Sixth Assessment cycle. He studied at Münster and Düsseldorf Universities where he received his PhD qualifying in Animal Physiology. As a Research and then Heisenberg Fellow of the German Research Council he worked at Dalhousie and Acadia Universities, Nova Scotia, Canada and at the Lovelace Medical Foundation, Albuquerque, USA. Currently he is Professor and Head of the Department of Integrative Ecophysiology at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Bremerhaven, Germany. He acts as an associate editor ‘Physiology’ for Marine Biology and as a co-editor of the Journal of Thermal Biology. He was Honorary International Associate Member of the Society for Integrative Biology, USA, between 2006 and 2013. He gave the Peter Hochachka Memorial Lecture at University of British Columbia in 2007, the Plymouth Marine Lecture in 2013, and the Bidder Lecture of the Society for Experimental Biology in Florence, 2018. During the IPCC Fourth Assessment Cycle he served as Lead Author on the Working Group III Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage, and during AR5 as Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 6 (Ocean Systems) of the Working Group II Report, as a member of the author teams for the Working Group II Summary for Policymakers and Technical Summary, as well as a member of the Core Writing Team for the Synthesis Report. His research interests include the effects of climate warming, ocean acidification, and hypoxia on marine animals and ecosystems with a focus on the links between ecological, physiological, biochemical and molecular mechanisms limiting tolerance and shaping biogeography and ecosystem functioning. He is a Clarivate Analytics highly cited researcher 2018.


Mr. Shun Chi-ming, F.R.Met.S., is the Director of the Hong Kong Observatory. Mr Shun graduated from the University of Hong Kong as Bachelor of Science in 1985. He joined the Hong Kong Observatory in 1986 as Scientific Officer. Mr Shun specialized in aeronautical meteorology since the 1990s and introduced the most advanced droppler weather radar to detect windshear for the Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) which opened in 1998. In the 2000’s, Mr Shun led a team of researchers to develop the world-first Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR) Windshear Alerting System for the HKIA. The system overcame the long-standing problem of detection of windshear under rain-free conditions, winning local awards and international recognition.

Mr Shun started taking up several international positions since the 2000’s. He was President of the Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) of the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) from 2010 to 2018, the first Asian who took up this high position in WMO. Mr Shun Chi-ming was elected a Co-Vice-President of the newly-established Commission for Weather, Climate, Water and Related Environmental Services and Applications of the WMO in June 2019.


Prof. Panmao Zhai is a Co-Chair of Working Group I of IPCC for the Sixth Assessment cycle. He is a well-known Chinese climatologist. He is a research professor and PhD advisor in the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, the largest multi-disciplinary and comprehensive research institution on atmospheric sciences in China. He has more than 30 years working experience in climate change and variability studies. He has published more than 100 papers in Chinese and English. He has developed the Global Climate Monitoring and Diagnostic System and established the ENSO Monitoring and Prediction System in China. Such contributions have effectively supported China National Climate Centre's operational activities and services. Currently, as a Chief Scientist, Panmao is leading a group of excellent meteorologists, studying the formation mechanism and prediction method for persistent extreme events in China.


Mr. Jonathan Drew is a Managing Director, Sustainable Finance in Real Assets & Structured Finance Group at HSBC. Jonathan graduated with an MA in Economics from Cambridge University in England and is also qualified as a Chartered Accountant. Jonathan started his banking career more than 20 years ago in London and after working in rapidly emerging Latin America and raising capital for large scale projects in the Middle East has been based in Hong Kong since 1997 witnessing first-hand the rapid growth of Asia and notably China. During this time he has been involved in successful transactions across a wide range of sectors including advising on and arranging finance for projects that produce and deliver energy (renewable and non-renewable) and transport people and resources from source to point of consumption as well as a wide range of infrastructure projects in social and education sectors with a focus on resource efficiency and sustainability. These transactions have involved supporting projects, corporates and institutions to approach various financial markets and structuring innovative and tailored products including green bonds and loans to meet the often large and specific needs of clients in markets with very distinct financial and regulatory characteristics. Jonathan is responsible for driving HSBC’s Sustainable Finance initiative across the Asia region for the banking business and also chairs the Asia Pacific Loan Market Association Green Loan Committee.


Mr. J. Robert Gibson is an Adjunct Professor in the Division of Environment and Sustainability at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, a Fellow of Civic Exchange, and a member of the Hong Kong Institute of CPA's Sustainability Committee. He focuses on mechanisms for making capitalism more sustainable and facilitating action by business to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

9:00 – 12:30
L40, HSBC Main Building
1 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong
Co-organized by HSBC, HKUST Institute for the Environment & Division of Environment and Sustainability
Supporting Organization(s)
Business Environment Council, Civic Exchange, Hong Kong Green Finance Association
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