21 March 2019

Shifting Gears: How the world’s leading financial centres are entering a new phase of strategic action on green and Sustainable Finance

The world’s Financial Centers are ramping up activity on Green and Sustainable Finance – linking market practice to policy targets

 

Brussels, March 21, 2019 The UN Environment convened Financial Centers for Sustainability (FC4S) Network has today published a report which has for the first time measured the contribution of financial centres to sustainable development and the ongoing low-carbon transition.

Over the past three years, sustainable finance has become a mainstream aspect of financial market growth and innovation around the world – as evinced by growth in issuance of green bonds, proliferation of sustainable investment products, increasing volume of assets managed according to increasingly stringent sustainability criteria, new green banking and insurance offerings, and a step-change in disclosure and reporting of environmental information – including climate risks.

In 2018, supported by EU EIT Climate-KIC the FC4S Network established an Assessment Programme to track the progress of financial centre efforts to support the expansion of green and sustainable finance markets, and explore different ways of measuring the contribution of financial centres to sustainable development and the low-carbon transition.

The FC4S report findings were released in Brussels today during the European Commission’s High-Level Conference on Sustainable Finance, a key gathering of over 600 political, regulatory, policy and market actors to celebrate the one-year launch anniversary of the EU’s Action Plan for Financing Sustainable Growth.

Results of the pilot Assessment Programme survey illustrate that:

  1. New forms of public private partnership
  2. There are material barriers to growth
  3. Financial centres are going beyond climate
  4. Policy innovation is a key driver
  5. New instruments are proliferating
  6. Progress varies across sectors
  7. Professional services are growing rapidly
  8. Shared priorities for Future Action
  9. Focus on Innovation
  10. Increasing international collaboration

FC4S co-chair Pierre Ducret, Board member Paris Finance for Tomorrow, said:

This report illustrates that financial centres have a critical role to play in accelerating the transition towards a sustainable financial system. FC4S is committed to helping them by supporting and assessing their initiatives and achievements, measuring their progress, and mobilising necessary skillsets. The network will also contribute to connect actions in Financial centres with global policy initiatives, such as that led by the European Commission.”

FC4S co-chair Kong Wei, Convener, Shanghai Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Development Committee, said:

“This assessment provides highly valuable insights into the scale and purpose of sustainable and green finance activity in our member’s centres. There have been tremendously positive strides taken but much remains to be done. This year the FC4S Network will revise the Assessment Programme methodology to target more complex and diversified questions relating to green and sustainable finance – and start to build the necessary data history to measure progress over time.”

 

Download the Report here

Download the press release here