Pioneering Business Alliance on Climate Change Launches with a Stark Warning on Risks Ahead for Business.

(March 17th 2008, Hong Kong) Fourteen of Hong Kong's top industry leaders have partnered with the Business Environment Council (BEC) to form the Climate Change Business Forum (CCBF). The CCBF is a unique leadership platform where business and climate specialists learn from each other to understand the impacts of climate change and the opportunities and risks it presents to Hong Kong business. The CCBF will operate on two levels: Getting business to learn about climate change and what it means to their business in terms of policy and regulations. Secondly, commissioning research and communicating how the best ways that business should reduce emissions.

The CCBF is chaired by the Hon Mr Leung Chun-ying GBS JP, Chairman, DTZ, Asia Pacific and Convenor of the Executive Council and Mr Tony Tyler, Chair of the Executive Committee and Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific. The CCBF is founded by five high profile Patron companies including Cathay Pacific, Hang Lung Group Ltd, HSBC, Sino Group, and Standard Chartered Bank. Plus, eleven founding Gold members: the Bank of East Asia, CLP Holdings Ltd, DTZ, Chevalier Group, Hong Kong Electric Company Ltd., Hong Kong Land Holding Ltd, Hong Yip Service Co Ltd, Lai Sun Group, MTR Corporation, Towngas, Swire Pacific Ltd, and Plus thanks to the British Consulate-General for their financial support.

At the launch of the CCBF, the Hon Mr CY Leung said that "Responsible businesses in Hong Kong should start taking proactive actions to tackle climate change issues which have become more pressing by the day. Temperature has been rising in Hong Kong. If this continues, our social and economic activities together with our ecological and living conditions will suffer. Many of the climate change challenges require research and business efforts that are specific to Hong Kong".

Mr Tony Tyler, Chairman of the Forum's Executive Committee said, "The problem of climate change hasn't made much impact yet on the way we all do business in Hong Kong. But it will. Climate change and the measures which will be taken to counter it are going to make a difference to our business and personal lives. It's very important that Hong Kong businesses understand the issues, learn to thrive in the changed environment, and work to influence the policies which governments will develop to address the climate change issue. Cathay Pacific strongly supports the CCBF initiative to bring business together, to engage in research, to develop and communicate best practices, and to assist in the development of sound policies for Hong Kong."

Dr Andrew Thomson, CEO of the Business Environment Council added "For the business community, urgent action is needed to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to prevent temperatures increasing to a point where dangerous climate change is triggered. This may cause an increase in regulatory, physical and reputational risks at the sector, industry and company levels. Businesses can expect a significant shift in their operating circumstances, existing markets will be radically changed, and new markets may be created."

Patron member Mr Vincent Cheng, Chairman of Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, said "The CCBF will reinforce the message that businesses can play an important role in helping combat climate change. Of course, climate change, is not just a private sector or public sector issue, not just an East or West issue – it is an issue that everyone has a stake in."