Directors’ Duties & Disclosure Obligations under HK Law regarding Climate Change

Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI)
Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL)

Directors’ Duties and Disclosure Obligations under
Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change

10 December 2021

The Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative (CCLI) has commissioned a legal opinion by Mr Alex Stock, SC, and Ms Jennifer Fan from Temple Chambers in Hong Kong regarding directors’ duties and disclosure obligations in respect of climate change and climate change-related issues under Hong Kong law. The legal opinion will be discussed at a virtual event “Directors’ Duties and Disclosure Obligations under Hong Kong Law regarding Climate Change” co-hosted by the CCLI and the HKU Asian Institute of International Financial Law (AIIFL). An accompanying white paper, expanding and complementing the legal analysis will be discussed at the event and published on the same date.

The new legal analysis finds that, since Hong Kong law requires directors to act in good faith in the best interests of the company and to exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence, directors are legally both entitled and obliged to take into account risks and considerations arising from the effects of climate change. This event will amplify the key roles and responsibilities of Hong Kong directors to navigate their companies through the disruptions of climate change and the global net zero transition, and in doing so, assist Hong Kong in tackling these complex challenges.

Speakers include:

  • Professor Ernest Lim, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore and AIIFL Academic Advisory Board Member
  • Christine Lau, Assistant Vice President, Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited (HKEX)
  • Sarah Barker, Head of Climate Risk Governance, MinterEllison
  • Alex Bidlake, Corporate Partner, Linklaters
  • Dr Emily Lee, Director of AIIFL and Associate Professor of Law, HKU

The CCLI is a legal research and stakeholder engagement initiative founded by Oxford University Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, ClientEarth and Accounting for Sustainability (A4S). The CCLI examines the legal basis for directors and trustees to manage and report on climate change-related risk and climate mitigation and our research is at the forefront of the intersection of climate and biodiversity risks under existing companies and securities laws. It provides practical tools on how to integrate the risks and opportunities of climate change into corporate governance, to minimise the risk of personal liability and maximise efforts of the private sector in the transition to a sustainable economy.

Enquiries: Flora Leung at