Hong Kong hosts One Earth Summit to set Asia on mission for climate change impact

Hong Kong hosts One Earth Summit to set Asia on mission for climate change impact

The Institute of Sustainability and Technology (IST), a Hong Kong-based sustainability research and education institute, announces the launch of the inaugural One Earth Summit, a premier global gathering for international sustainability leaders set to take place at Regala Skycity Hotel, Hong Kong on March 25, 2024. 

The Summit is a first-of-its-kind platform in Asia Pacific that curates action-focused dialogues for achieving a net-zero, nature positive transition in the region and beyond.

Organised by the Institute of Sustainability and Technology, co-organised by the World Economic Forum’s GAEA (Giving to Amplify Earth Action) Initiative, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum as a Knowledge Partner, and with the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (FSTB) and InvestHK of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) as Host Partners, the Summit will leverage Hong Kong’s prominence as the region’s financial and innovation hub to foster an ecosystem of public-private-philanthropic partnerships dedicated to driving sustainability progress through putting promises into action.

Premier gathering of over 500 leaders and changemakers

With the theme “Planetary crossroads: Investing in innovations for a sustainable future”, the Summit will bring together over 500 influential leaders and changemakers from government representatives, green finance experts, young leaders and entrepreneurs, senior executives of multinational corporations, academia, institutional investors, and representatives of international organisations, aiming to foster actionable solutions addressing global sustainability challenges through insightful discussions focusing on five distinct areas: Water & Nature-based Solutions; Infrastructure & Urban Development; Food & Agriculture; Energy Transition; and Materials & Industrial Decarbonisation.

Confirmed speakers include climate envoys, government officials, heads of international organisations and multilateral development banks, as well as top executives of corporates and family offices, prominent philanthropists, and celebrated individuals renowned for their contribution to climate action such as H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein; Mr Jim Coulter, Founding Partner of TPG & Managing Partner of TPG Rise Climate; Prof Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; Mr Jingdong Hua, Vice-Chair of the International Sustainability Standards Board; Dr Peter Lee Ka-kit, Chairman of Henderson Land Group and The Hong Kong and China Gas Company Limited; Mr Chavalit Frederick Tsao, Chairman of IMC Pan Asia Alliance Group; Ms Amy Lo, Chairman of UBS Global Wealth Management Asia; and more.

The programme of the full-day Summit will include plenary sessions, open sessions such as roundtable dialogues and fireside chats, and closed-door sessions with invite-only networking events and investor pitches.

Beyond the pledges: putting promises into action

The inaugural One Earth Summit aims to promote personal, organisational, and planetary well-being through fostering interconnectedness, diversity, and inclusion – with the vision of driving collaboration, transformation, and innovative solutions through strategic partnerships that transcend cultural boundaries, divisions, and disciplines. With a focus on knowledge sharing and showcasing talent and cutting-edge technologies in Asia and emerging markets around the globe, the Summit will serve as a platform that promotes “Investment for Good” by connecting high-potential start-ups with the world’s most prominent, purpose-driven investors.

Messages from the organiser, co-organiser, and knowledge partner

Prof Poman Lo, Founder of Institute of Sustainability and Technology, said, “I am thrilled to initiate the launch of One Earth Summit, a ground-breaking partnership with the World Economic Forum and the HKSAR Government with a mission to drive urgent action to save our one and only Mother EarthThe global climate crisis places us at a critical juncture in the history of humankind. Our Summit seeks to reverse this trajectory. Our collective goal is to mobilise the necessary capital to fuel innovative solutions for the most pressing environmental challenges, transforming competition into collaboration, dialogue into action, and transition risks into investment opportunities. To foster international partnerships and technology exchange across the East and West, we are hosting the inaugural Summit in Hong Kong. As a key economic growth engine, the Asia-Pacific region is responsible for over half of the world’s carbon emissions and thus plays a pivotal role in accelerating the sustainable transition. Our event marks the dawn of an impact revolution across Asiasetting new standards for environmental stewardship and purpose-driven investments. Together, we can empower innovations for a sustainable future and drive meaningful change – from Asia to the world.”

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA) Global Co-Chair, said, “Human activity has pushed the planet beyond the zone of uncertainty. There is no Planet B. The six remaining years of this Decade of Action are crucial for delivering meaningful climate and nature action. The time is now to unite diverse organisations and stakeholders with a common purpose of addressing climate change through global public-private-philanthropic collaboration. The One Earth Summit marks a pivotal moment in global sustainability efforts. By bringing together leaders from all walks of life, we can collectively address the challenges our planet faces and forge a path towards a more sustainable and resilient future.”

Mr Ray Dalio, Founder and (Former) Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates and Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA) Global Co-Chair, said, “Climate change is happening in a big way. A big challenge requires even bigger commitments from everyone in the world, including investors and philanthropists. Private capital will need to be deployed in a big way to help fight the climate crisis. At this critical juncture, the One Earth Summit provides a unique platform that gathers big thinkers from the public, private, and philanthropic sectors to come up with big solutions for our planet.”

Prof Klaus Schwab, Founder & Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum and Global Co-Chair, Giving to Amplify Earth Action (GAEA), said, “Climate philanthropy has the power to be catalytic in helping unlock private finance and government public funds required to finance positive tipping point interventions at the speed and scale required across earth’s systems. This is a historic time to innovate and design the new kind of philanthropic-public-private collaborations needed to put the planet on track to meet its climate ambitions.​ Come join us, in helping corporates shift their practices and value chains towards sustainable ones, faster, and at scale.”

Support from the HKSAR Government with FSTB and InvestHK as host partners

Mr John Lee, Chief Executive of the HKSAR, said, “As one of the mega events taking place in Hong Kong this year, the inaugural One Earth Summit further consolidates Hong Kong’s position as an international green technology and financial centre and tells the good stories of our city to our local and international audiences. We look forward to joining the thought-provoking dialogues among the world’s leading changemakers and innovators at the One Earth Summit, and participating in concerted global efforts in building a sustainable future for our next generation.”

Mr Christopher Hui, Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury of the HKSAR Government, said, “As a leading international financial centre with its dynamic capital markets, Hong Kong is well-positioned to spearhead green and sustainable finance. We are also developing Hong Kong into a philanthropic centre for global family offices and philanthropists to deploy charitable capital. The One Earth Summit will contribute to enhancing Hong Kong’s international profile in the green and sustainability domain, and showcase our commitment to developing Hong Kong as the leading green and sustainable finance hub, as well as a philanthropic centre.”

Ms Alpha Lau, Director-General of Investment Promotion of InvestHK, said, “The global pursuit to carbon neutrality has created a huge demand for innovative and technological solutions to reduce, mitigate or offset carbon emission. The strong presence of talent, skills and innovation in Hong Kong makes the region stand out as a bright spot for attractive investment opportunities that offer both impact and returns and a beacon of hope in combating the climate crisis. We are committed to providing support that will strengthen the Summit’s capacity for fostering international collaboration and investment in sustainability-focused initiatives.”

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