Paris, 29 november – The Climate Finance Day, organised by Finance for Tomorrow, concluded a week-long series of events devoted to sustainable finance under the heading ‘Paris for Tomorrow’. The event welcomed over 700 participants from more than 40 countries. The 5th edition of the Climate Finance Day affirmed its position as a leading international event for sustainable finance, as attested the prominence of its speakers and the number of announcements made.
Organised around 4 main sessions that brought together some 50 speakers from the financial services industry, the public sector and academia, this 5th edition was an opportunity to develop solutions and review the concrete progress made over the year.
The Climate Finance Day opened with the investiture of Thierry Déau as the new Chair of Finance for Tomorrow. The occasion provided him an opportunity to share his vision for the Paris Financial Centre and his ambition for its future: ‘During this 5th edition of the Climate Finance Day we have had an opportunity to measure the progress made and the commitments honoured so far in terms of sustainable finance. But we must all collectively do more and engage in a transition that is fair and equitable. Our action will only be credible if we act immediately, if we share with the greatest number the right initiatives and above all if we measure the effects.’
This year’s guiding theme for the day was the financing of a just transition. The transformation toward a low-carbon economy will induce profound upheavals in many sectors, requiring to consider the social and societal impact. In a discussion with Thierry Déau, Chair of Finance for Tomorrow, the day’s guest of honour Laurent Berger, Secretary-General of the French CFDT union, President of the European Trade Union Confederation, reiterated the international union’s position that: ‘There are no jobs on a dead planet.’ Therewith, he articulated his considerable hope for a green new deal at the European level and emphasised the importance of forward thinking to address the transition’s impact on regions and on employment. He called on all parties to act responsibly to successfully navigate the ecological transition with respect for social justice.
The Climate Finance Day illustrated the international mobilisation underway to make sustainable finance a dominant force in the financial system. Representatives of public institutions such as the European Commission, the European Trade Union Confederation, the European market authorities (ESMA, IOSCO) and the United Nations Environment’s Finance Initiative were able to engage in dialogue with private sector players.
Dr. MA Jun, Chair of China’s ‘Green Finance Committee’, made his 3rd appearance at the Climate Finance Day. He presented an example of just transition from China and, with Nick Robins, sketched the possibilities for international cooperation on green finance. His participation was part of ongoing bilateral relations with China developed by Finance For Tomorrow, which on 28 November organised the second ever ‘Joint Conference on Green Finance’ with the support from the People’s Bank of China and Banque de France.
Another high point of the day was the 2nd Challenge Fintech for Tomorrow, which goal is to support the dynamic momentum of the Paris Financial Centre by encouraging innovative start-ups. The prize for the French category was awarded to GreenValue.AI, and the prize for the international category to OKO Finance. Organised by Finance For Tomorrow and sponsored by ADEME, the French agency for Environment and Energy management, and Climate KIC SAS, the challenge was a success with more than 35 applications.
François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Banque de France, announced that stress tests will be made on French banks and insurance companies by Q1 2020. He forecasted that climate risk should be on the agenda of the review of European monetary policy announced by Christine Lagarde, new Chair of the ECB.
Lastly, the Caisse des Dépôts, Agence Française de Développement, Bpifrance, The FRR (French pensions reserve fund) and the ERAFP (French public service additional pension scheme) signed the Charter of Public-Sector Investors in Support of the Sustainable Development Goals, in the presence of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance. Doing so, they committed to making these goals part of their responsible investment policies. These principles build on those already established in 2017, which the signatories committed to via the Charter of Public-Sector Investors in Support of Climate Action.
Delivering the day’s closing remarks, Bruno Le Maire, Minister of the Economy and Finance declared: ‘Paris financial centre is the greenest in the world, as it is committed to stop financing the most polluting energies. We can do better and faster both at French and European level. Finance is our best weapon to overcome climate change.’