The FC4S Network is a growing collective of the world’s financial centres which is aided by partners and donors, and supported by a Secretariat.
The Paris Agreement is humanity’s best bet to beat off the existential threat of climate change, while the Sustainable Development Goals are our blueprint for a prosperous, equitable and sustainable future. We need green and sustainable finance to succeed: over USD 100 trillion by 2030, according to United Nations.
The FC4S Network was born out of Italy’s G7 Presidency in 2017, where green finance was a central theme: including the question:
“how could financial centres contribute to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement?”
A G7 input paper, prepared by the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, “Financial Centres for Sustainability” found that G7 and other countries could encourage their financial centres to develop strategies that scale up green and sustainable finance – including through international cooperation that would create “a race to the top”. The launch of the international network of financial centres was included by the G7 Environment Ministers in the Bologna Communique.
In September 2017, the FC4S Network was officially launched in Casablanca, Morocco with 11 financial centres adopting The Casablanca Statement on Financial Centres for Sustainability. The original members were Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Hong Kong, Milan, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Shanghai and Stockholm.
In April 2018, the, now, 16 members of FC4S met in Milan, Italy to establish the inaugural work programme. Areas of focus included developing a robust benchmarking and assessment tool to enable financial centres to evaluate their progress and inspire further action.
On the eve of the 2018 G7 Environment, Energy, and Ocean Ministers’ meeting in Halifax, the FC4S launched the Halifax Statement. To help achieve convergence of a “shared language for green and sustainable finance”, the statement sets out ten principles including the scope, purpose, good practice, proportionality and mechanisms of the taxonomies. This statement was accompanied by an Expert Briefing, which provided more information on the development on taxonomies, and on the ten principles.
In 2019, FC4S added nine new members to take its total membership to 30 and launched centres/hubs in Africa and Asia. The global scale of the collective’s vision is best represented by the regional variety of the new members, who all believe in driving convergence, exchanging experiences, and acting on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance.
During the second Annual General Meeting, members agreed to set common targets by the end of 2022. Also, FC4S published a report “Shifting Gears”, which for the first time measured the contribution of financial centres to sustainable development and the ongoing low-carbon transition. As well as identifying key challenges facing this growing sector and provides 10 key insights on how financial centres are mobilizing their expertise, connectivity and capital to help solve some of the world’s toughest financing challenges.
With the Network now reaching a critical mass, it is playing an important role in the global sustainable finance agenda – not least by supporting Members to fully align themselves with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.