Mexico’s Central Bank, UNEP and UNDP call on Financial Sector to plan for Environmental Risks

The Central Bank of Mexico (Banco de México), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) call on the Mexican financial sector to frame and implement an agenda on environmental risk.

Mexico City, 19 May 2020 – Today, Banco de México and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), presented the report “Climate and environmental risks and opportunities in Mexico’s financial system: From diagnosis to action,” which calls upon Mexican financial institutions to make a collective effort to incorporate environmental issues into their risk assessment and corporate governance strategies, as well as to take advantage of the opportunities that would result from the transition to a low-carbon economy.

The report highlights that climate change and environmental degradation are critical challenges of our time, as they lead to loss of natural capital, ecosystem degradation, lower productivity, and a reduction of the population’s well-being, at both the national and global level.

As part of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), the central banks along with other financial authorities have become more involved in initiatives geared towards encouraging financial institutions to accurately acknowledge and assess the impact of environmental risks, in view that such phenomena can have significant consequences on credit risk, financial stability, and social development.

This publication is a first in-depth diagnosis of the current degree of readiness of Mexican financial institutions to assess climate, environmental, and social risks. The results are based on a survey conducted on the senior management of over 60 institutions and consider nearly 90% of the credit portfolio of the banking system, 80% of the assets reported by fund managers to Mexico’s National Securities and Banking Commission (CNBV), 90% of the assets managed by the Retirement Funds Administrators (AFORES), and 44% of the assets reported by insurance companies.

When talking about this initiative the Governor of Banco de México, Alejandro Díaz de León, highlighted the importance of collective action of all the actors of the financial system. He also expressed his confidence that the report will serve as the basis for the development and implementation of standardized methodologies and criteria in the evaluation of environmental and social risks, which are essential for long-term prosperity.

“It is clear that we need to manage risk far better than we currently do, and this becomes more vital in the context of climate change which remains the existential challenge facing humanity. Financial institutions that sufficiently factor in climate risk, will be able to ensure the long-term sustainability of their portfolios. This study offers useful recommendations for financial institutions and regulators in preparing for the future,” said Inger Andersen, Executive Director of UNEP.

According to the report, although Mexican financial institutions have become more aware of climate risks, they are still required to integrate more systematic and standardized measures, implement the international agenda, and develop methodologies and areas of responsibility within their own corporate governance structures. In this regard, it draws upon implementing specific actions to mitigate environmental risks and increase green financing flows to the Mexican economy, such as:

  • Defining a national taxonomy for green and sustainable activities,
    setting clear timelines and corporate governance commitments by financial system actors to improve and monitor climate risk management,
  • Designing the incentives to incorporate environmental-related factors to firms’ strategic planning, and
    developing voluntary reporting standards for Mexican firms.
  • “Climate change and environmental degradation are critical challenges of our time, and the financial sector has a key role to play in tackling these issues. The recommendations of this report – such as clear timelines and commitments at the board level to incorporate social and environmental aspects into major plans of action, risk management policies, annual budgets, and business plans – will hopefully resonate with decision makers at the highest levels of the Mexican financial sector,” said Achim Steiner, Administrator, UNDP.

New paper on how Covid-19 affects Sustainable Finance

New York/Geneva, 7 May 2020 – New York/Geneva, 7 May 2020 – Today the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) launched a working paper on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on sustainable finance. The paper supports thinking on how to respond to the pandemic from a sustainable finance perspective. Specifically, it has two objectives.

The first is to set out what we know about the ways in which the many different components of our sustainable financial system – market actors, policymakers, regulators, and international institutions – are thinking, planning and reacting to the pandemic, with a focus on implications for sustainable finance markets.

The second objective is to set out a framework for assessing what levers may exist to strengthen the role of the financial system in supporting a low-carbon recovery, and the prospective roles for different communities of actors.

Importantly, the paper it is a work in progress and will be updated and refined every quarter as new information and new ideas come to our attention. This allows us to continuously gather information and insights to refine our analysis as we try to be as fluid as the global response to the pandemic is.

The working paper looks at four major sections: Financial and Capital Markets; Policy Action; Regulation and Supervision; and International Networks covering recent developments in response to COVID-19.

“If there is one thing that COVID-19 has emphasized, it is that natural capital underpins our economies. The health of people and the planet are one and the same. The 90% decline in green bond issuance is a matter of concern. If we aim to rebuild more green and resilient economies, we need to maintain healthy debt ratios and encourage all debt to be aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Marcos Mancini, Head of International Partnerships, UNEP Inquiry.

Some takeaways from the report include:

  • Pipelines of new greenfield low-carbon projects (e.g. renewable energy) are likely to be significantly reduced for the foreseeable future, both in developed and emerging markets.
  • Capital raising to fund the stimulus will need to take many forms – and green securities could play a major role.
  • Financial supervisors are likely to strengthen focus on long-term risks with exponential characteristics – potentially leading to a more granular assessment of climate risks.

Mexico’s Green Finance Advisory Board joins FC4S

Mexico City, 31 July 2019 –Mexico’s Green Finance Advisory Board (CCFV) today joined the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) as it looks to help turn the Latin American nation into a regional green finance powerhouse.
The CCFV is the 28th member of the UN Environment Programme-convened movement to put private capital behind green investments. FC4S already boasts some of the world’s major financial centres as members.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to be part of the FC4S, and to work alongside them to reach our common goal to become a greener and more transparent financial system,” said Luis Sebastián Sayeg Seade, co-President of the CCFV and head of pension fund Afore Banamex.

“We are enthusiastic to become greener, because we know greener means challenging the status quo, while following global standards to improve every day. This benefits investors, the financial sector and, most importantly, local economies, the environment and the Mexican population.”

The advisory board, representing over 300 members, was created in 2016 in response to the growing need in Mexico to develop a sustainable financial market with an authentic long-term vision. The CCFV is particularly concerned about Mexico’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change. Located between two oceans, it is exposed to storms and sea-level rise. The CCFV says 71 per cent of the country’s economy is vulnerable to climate-related disasters.

“The CCFV has brought together leaders that represent the financial system in order to share learning on how we can take action to manage and minimize climate and social risks,” said Enrique Ernesto Solórzano Palacio, co-President of the CCFV and pension fund manager Afore Sura CEO.

“We must work harder on taxonomies, improve data disclosure and the identification of sustainable and green infrastructure pipeline, and exercise pressure for the decarbonization of the companies that come to public markets to obtain funding.”

Beijing, Cairo, Lagos, Madrid and Tokyo have all recently joined FC4S in a surge of support for sustainable finance in line with growing global awareness of the urgent environmental challenges the planet faces.

The addition of the CCFV is particularly significant, given the size of the country’s economy. Mexico is currently ranked as the 15th largest world economy in terms of GDP, and 11th in terms of its purchasing power.
Since the Mexican Congress in 2012 approved the Climate Change General Law, green finance has been growing in Mexico. In 2015, national development bank NAFIN issued its first green bond – the first certified green bond in Latin America.

In 2016, with the formation of the CCFV, the pace picked up as the CCFV developed a green finance agenda – incorporating the financial system´s associations, development and multilateral banks, investment bankers, asset managers, rating agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

In 2017, Mexico City placed its first green bond, becoming the first Latin American City to obtain financing through this instrument. There have been other important advances and key signals to the market around green finance. For example, the National Commission of the Savings System for Retirement, the regulatory body of the Retirement Funds, encouraged the integration of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) concerns in investment decision-making. By December 2018, 51 institutional investors – who jointly manage USD 237 billion in assets, declared themselves in favor of the disclosure of ESG information in cooperation with the CCFV.

Less than a year after Mexico City’s first green bond, the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) was launched. This network is steered by Banco de Mexico, the Bank of England, the Banque de France and Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), the Nederlandsche Bank, the Deutsche Bundesbank, Finansinspektionen (The Swedish FSA), the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the People’s Bank of China and Banco de España and has 42 members along with 8 observers.

“We are delighted to have the CCFV join our network,” said Stephen Nolan, head of FC4S. “They have already done stellar work promoting green and sustainable finance in Mexico. We hope to help them advance the agenda further in the region, while also learning from the many valuable steps they have taken to green Mexico’s financial system.”

Beijing joins rapidly growing movement of Financial Centers for Sustainability

Beijing, 05 June 2019 –Beijing today became a member of the UN Environment Program-convened Financial Centers for Sustainability (FC4S) Network, a rapidly growing movement of financial centers committed to putting private capital behind climate friendly and green investments.

Beijing is the 25th member of FC4S, following hot on the heels of Lagos and Tokyo, both of which joined in the last few weeks.

“We are thrilled to announce that Beijing has joined the FC4S,” said Ma Jun, President of Beijing Green Finance Association (BGFA). “As the political, economic, and cultural center of China, Beijing has the advantage of direct policy support, robust financial resources, and strong human capital to support the expansion of green and sustainable financial markets.

The BGFA is seeking to position Beijing as an international green finance center. The city is planning to launch a number of critical initiatives, including the establishment of the Beijing Green Development Fund, China-UK Green Technology Innovation Fund, and a Green Assets Exchange.

“I am delighted to welcome Beijing to the FC4S family as our 26th member,” said Kong Wei, co-chair of the FC4S and Convenor of the Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Committee in Shanghai. “With significant capital required over the coming years to finance Asia’s transition to a low-carbon economic region, Beijing’s recognition of the importance of the green and sustainable finance agenda is to be welcomed. I look forward to working with our latest member to support their efforts.”

Beijing’s admission brings the FC4S Network to six members in Asia, with Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tokyo already on board. FC4S is developing a dedicated strategy for sustainable finance in Asia under its FC4S Asia and Pacific platform.

“By joining the FC4S Network, Beijing hopes to actively participate in knowledge exchange with our international counterparts and contribute valuable experiences and drive innovation on policies, product development, and harmonization of standards, with the vision to build a more sustainable financial system globally,” said Ma Jun.

Beijing joined the network on World Environment Day, which this year is themed around the fight against air pollution. The Beijing air pollution crisis in 2013, which led the city and the government to launch series efforts to improve air quality and protect the human health, helped to spark the growth of green finance as a way to deal with environmental issues.

“It is fitting that Beijing has joined FC4S on World Environment Day,” said Satya S. Tripathi, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Secretary of the UN Environment Management Group. “Investments that move away from fossil fuels and other polluting industries, towards green and sustainable ones, are crucial to help address the global challenge of air pollution. Beijing will be a significant player in this space in the years to come. ”

The World’s Financial Centers are ramping up activity on Green and Sustainable Finance – linking Market Practice to Policy Targets

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.The 2019 State of Play report also identifies key challenges facing this growing sector.

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.

Established in September 2017, the FC4S Network provides a platform for financial centres to exchange experience and develop practical collaboration for the growth of green and sustainable finance. As of March 2019, the Network has seen a doubling in membership since its launch, attracting 22 financial centers as members from across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.

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.

Commenting, 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.”

Results of the pilot Assessment Programme survey illustrate that:

New forms of public private partnership: Nearly two-thirds of financial centre initiatives on green and sustainable finance are partnerships between the private and public sectors, giving them unique ability to link policy and practice.

There are material barriers to growth: The top three barriers faced by financial centres are i) a lack of green financial products, ii) inconsistent standards and iii) insufficient market demand. Lack of a shared language for green and sustainable finance is a key constraint, highlighting the need for continued dialogue between public and private stakeholders on taxonomies.

Financial centres are going beyond climate: Climate change continues to be a major focus for activities branded as “sustainable” but FC4S members recognize need to broaden their offering to include other environmental priorities (e.g. circular economy, natural capital and conservation finance) as well as social themes, such as financial inclusion and social impact investing

Policy innovation is a key driver: New policy initiatives and action by financial regulators and supervisors is a key driver in half the financial centres, with system-wide initiatives and debt capital markets the most cited examples. In a quarter of centres, policy and regulation is touching upon equity and debt capital markets, insurance, investment, banking and system-wide action.

New instruments are proliferating: Over 75% of financial centres noted the presence of different debt instruments related to green and/or sustainable finance – primarily green bonds. Equity instruments are on the rise, with 25 % of respondents noting the presence of structured products, closed ended funds, and discretionary mandates.

Progress varies across sectors: Investment and asset management is the most mature sector with respect to green and sustainable finance in most centres, while green banking is evolving, and insurance has the furthest to go.

Professional services are growing rapidly: Over 75% of respondents acknowledged the presence of sustainable rating services and consulting firms; other services (sustainability research, labelling, legal, clean techs and carbon trading) are present in select financial centres.

Shared priorities for Future Action: Leading financial centres have identified further product development, improved data collection and better market standards as top priorities for further development.

Focus on Innovation: Applying financial technology (fintech) solutions to sustainable finance challenges is a major focus for financial centres, with several FC4S members establishing specific projects aimed at fostering innovation – including accelerator programmes.

Increasing international collaboration: FC4S member centres are working more closely together on sustainable finance, including through bilateral projects. More and more centres are seeking to join the FC4S Network to benefit from collaboration opportunities.

Commenting, 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.”

Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice President European Commission, said: “Global financial centres can help scale up sustainable finance and mobilise international investors towards sustainable investments across the globe. I welcome the first report of the UN Financial Centres For Sustainability (FC4S) Network, which for the first time assesses the contribution of financial centres to sustainable development. We need to build global cooperation to coordinate an international approach to sustainable finance that avoids fragmentation and greenwashing.”

Climate Bonds Initiative and FC4S Europe launch briefing paper on European Green Bond Market Development

London, 05 March 2019 – Climate Bonds Initiative and the UN Environment Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network today release “Green Bonds – a key tool for financial centre competitiveness: Lessons from Europe” Briefing Paper. Analysing the recent experience of European financial centres around green bonds growth, this briefing paper provides insights on how green finance can be leveraged as a core pillar of sustainable financial centres.

Supported by EU EIT Climate-KIC, this paper was developed as part of the UN Environment FC4S Network regional European platform.

Europe hosts several financial centres that together form the largest regional green bond market with a cumulative USD184.2bn worth of green bonds issued to date, with France leading issuance, followed by Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and Spain.

The Paper devotes an extensive section to in-country experiences around green finance instruments, with the objective to bring clarity and convergence on definitions, taxonomies and classification system. It also identifies building skills and capacity through peer exchange as strategic action points for the FC4S Network.

The paper notes various sustainable finance initiatives already undertaken by European financial centres and makes recommendations for financial centre authorities to foster the development of green bond markets as an integral part of the sustainable finance planning including:

  • Supporting the development of guidance for green financial instruments;
  • Developing new market infrastructure;
  • Implementing best practice on disclosure around sustainable investments.

Stephen Nolan, Managing Director of UN Environment FC4S:

“As we relentlessly work to accelerate the growth of green and sustainable finance at a financial centre level, the publication of today’s report is to be welcomed. Providing a strong roadmap for further action, the UN Environment FC4S European platform looks forward to working with the Climate Bonds Initiative, our European located partners and EU EIT Climate-KIC to realise these important recommendations.”

Sara Lovisolo, Co-chair, Italian Financial Centre for Sustainability, Italian Observatory on Sustainable Finance (OIFS):

“Sustainable financial centres, as platforms for collaboration, can bring additionality to green bond markets by removing barriers to issuance in green format and creating a strong link between financial markets and public policy targets. We welcome the recommendations of this report, which align with the mission of the Italian Observatory on Sustainable Finance.”

Sean Kidney, CEO of Climate Bonds Initiative:

“The sustainable finance centres of the future will include large green bond segments and be hubs for green investment markets and innovation around climate finance. The report’s recommendations provide a basis for European financial centres making this much needed shift and reflects the significant role of the UN Environment FC4S Network in facilitating this process.”

Notes for Journalists
About the “Green Bonds – a key tool for financial centre competitiveness: Lessons from Europe” Briefing Paper: The document can be downloaded here

About Climate Bonds Initiative: The Climate Bonds Initiative is an investor-focused not-for-profit, promoting large-scale investment in the low-carbon economy.  It undertakes advocacy and outreach to inform and stimulate green bond markets, provides policy models and government advice, international development programs, market data and analysis and administers the Standards & Certification Scheme. For more information, please visit .

About UN Environment FC4S Network: Launched in 2018, the Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network is structured as a partnership between international financial centres and the UN Environment Programme, which acts as its Convenor and Secretariat. The objective of the Network is to exchange experiences and take common action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance. Today the Network has 22 financial centres members across Asia, Europe, North America, the Gulf and Africa. For more information, please visit www.fc4s.org.

U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance launched

New York, December 6, 2018 – Today, during the inaugural Sustainable Finance Week in New York, Bloomberg announced the formation of the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance (USASF), convening 15 founding members to drive investment in clean energy and climate resilience projects across the U.S. The alliance will provide the resources and expertise to identify and streamline existing climate-finance initiatives, encourage greater transparency across climate-related financial risks and opportunities, and ultimately, drive more capital to sustainable investments.

Climate financing plays a significant role in the U.S’s ability to mitigate the global impact of greenhouse gas emissions and meet the goals of the landmark UN Paris Agreement. Financing allows states, cities and businesses to invest in emerging technologies and climate-related projects, encouraging successful initiatives to flourish and scale. Research indicates a sevenfold increase in global clean energy investment — $2.4T annually versus the current investment levels of $333.5B as estimated by BloombergNEF — is needed to limit the most devastating effects of climate change. USASF member organizations will work together to help direct and increase climate-related financing, simultaneously growing the U.S. economy and supporting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

USASF’s founding members include Bank of America, BNP Paribas, Citi, Crédit Agricole CIB, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Macquarie Group, Morgan Stanley, Neuberger Berman, Nuveen, S&P Global, Trillium Asset Management, and Wells Fargo. The USASF will also join the global network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) convened by the United Nations Environment Programme.

The formation of USASF follows United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres’ call to create a new Climate Finance Leadership Initiative supporting global mobilization of private capital.

“As a world-class city and leader in innovation, New York is a natural center for the worlds of finance and sustainability to meet and collaborate. We are excited to provide the base for the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance and formally join the UN Environment Programme FC4S Network,” said Mary Schapiro, Vice Chair for Global Public Policy, Bloomberg LP. “Under the FC4S umbrella our U.S.-based alliance will solidify our efforts to scale private capital in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

USASF will undertake a series of actions, including:

  • Leverage New York City’s role as an international hub for green and sustainable finance and the benefits of collaboration in order to accelerate impact;
  • Support specific initiatives and projects launched by members and adding value to their green and sustainable investment and financing operations;
  • Create meeting places and synergies to boost the development of the U.S. as a sustainable finance center;
  • Produce, promote and share relevant information for the U.S. green and sustainable finance industry;
  • Develop and participate in national and international partnerships to increase the impact of green and sustainable finance.

“With the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance joining FC4S, our network reaches real universality. Together we start a new engine to accelerate the progress of green and sustainable finance,” commented Pierre Ducret, FC4S Co-Chair and Finance For Tomorrow Board Member.

“With the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance (USASF) joining the FC4S family, our network is truly inclusive and comprehensive now, thanks to Bloomberg taking the lead in the U.S.,” added Kong Wei, FC4S Co-Chair and Convenor of the Shanghai Lujiazui Financial City Council Green Finance Development Committee. “We look forward to building a greener, better, more peaceful, equal and sustainable society together.”

“The FC4S Network is tackling an ambitious work programme in 2019, including a global self-assessment programme for financial centres to evaluate progress on green finance goals, and a new “lab” to develop financing solutions for underserved regions. The contributions of the USASF will be invaluable for these efforts – and we look forward to engaging with global institutions in New York to leverage their expertise,” said Jeremy McDaniels, Head of Projects, FC4S Network.

In addition to the new U.S. Alliance, the FC4S Network brings together 18 other leading financial centres from across the globe. More information about the FC4S Network and a full list of all members can be found at www.fc4s.org/. Bloomberg provides the secretariat for the U.S. Alliance for Sustainable Finance. For more information on USASF please visit https://go.bloomberg.com/events/usasf/.

Paris and Shanghai to chair network of Financial Centres for Sustainability

Shanghai, 19 October 2018 –The world’s financial centres have taken an important step forward to scale up the financing required for climate action and sustainable development. On 8 October, the IPCC concluded that an additional 1.5% in global investment would be needed to hold global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Mobilising the world’s financial centres will be crucial to achieve the system transition that the IPCC has recommended.

At the 2nd meeting of the global network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) in Shanghai, two co-chairs have been appointed to provide strategic leadership: Pierre Ducret, board member of the Paris-based Finance for Tomorrow initiative and Kong Wei, chair of the Shanghai Green Finance Committee. In addition, a new Wall Street Working Group on Sustainable Finance is being formed, and is considering joining the network to represent New York.

​The FC4s Network brings together nearly 20 of the world’s leading financial hubs to harness the power of place for climate action and sustainable development. Established in September 2017, it has already:

– Introduced an assessment programme to evaluate the activities undertaken by its members to accelerate flows of green and sustainable finance,

– Launched a statement calling for international convergence towards a shared language in the development of taxonomies on green and sustainable finance,

– Established regional platforms in Europe and Asia to stimulate further engagement from financial centres,

– Identified best practice across financial centres on how to expand the green bond market, and

– Promoted cooperation between financial centres on the application of fintech to climate and sustainability challenges (such as blockchain).

​Pierre Ducret from Finance for Tomorrow said: “The IPCC report has shown more clearly than ever the need to mobilise the trillions for climate and accelerating actions is a priority for France.  I’m honoured to be appointed as a co-chair of the Financial Centres for Sustainability network – and view this as a great opportunity to strengthen international cooperation at a time of great uncertainty.”

Kong Wei, convenor of the Shanghai Green Finance Committee said: “Green finance is a national priority in China to develop a cleaner and more prosperous economy. I feel privileged to take up the role of co-chair of the Network and will use this opportunity to promote practical measures that enable all financial centres to play their role in the transition that lies ahead.”

​Curtis Ravenel, Global Head of Sustainable Business & Finance, Bloomberg said: “To solve the climate challenge, we need more sustainable finance product innovation and scale across the U.S. and international capital markets. Along with the growing roster of global hubs that are part of the FC4S Network, Bloomberg is working with a number of financial institutions and others to explore the formation of a Wall Street Sustainable Finance working group to scale capital deployment aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Satya Tripathi, Assistant Secretary General, UN Environment said: “UN Environment works across the sustainability and finance agenda – and I see that the FC4S Network is having a significant impact on the international policy sphere. These moves will further consolidate the Network’s leadership role.”

Nick Robins, the founder of the FC4S network and Special Advisor on Sustainable Finance, UN Environment said: “We need financial centres to be fit for purpose in the rapid transition that lies ahead. With Pierre Ducret and Kong Wei as co-chairs, the network has the strategic leadership it needs for the next phase.”

About the FC4S Network

The FC4S is a partnership between leading financial centres and the United Nations Environment Programme, which acts as its Convenor and Secretariat. The objective of the Network is to enable financial centres to exchange experience, drive convergence, and take action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance. Following from endorsement by G7 Environment Ministers under the 2017 Italian G7 Presidency, the FC4S Network was launched in September 2017 with the support of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land, and Sea. The Network is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current members of the Network include:

  • Astana: Astana International Financial Centre
  • Casablanca: Casablanca Finance City Authority
  • Dublin: Sustainable Nation Ireland
  • Frankfurt: Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany
  • Geneva: Sustainable Finance Geneva
  • Hong Kong: Green Finance Task Force
  • London: City of London Green Finance Initiative
  • Luxembourg: Luxembourg for Finance
  • Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein Bankers Association
  • Milan: Centro Finanziario Italiano per la Sostenbilita (CFIS)
  • Paris: Finance for Tomorrow
  • Seoul: Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • Shanghai: Lujiazui Financial City
  • Shenzhen: Shenzhen Green Finance Committee
  • Stockholm: Stockholm Green Digital Finance
  • Toronto: Toronto Finance International
  • Zurich: Swiss Sustainable Finance

Partner organisations include:

  • Climate Bonds Initiative
  • Climate-KIC
  • Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative
  • UNEP Finance Initiative

The press release can be downloaded here.

The G7 Bologna Communiqué of Environment Ministers from June 2017 can be found here.

The Casablanca statement on financial centres for sustainability from September 2017 can be found here.

The UN Environment report, Accelerating Financial Centres’ Action for Sustainable Development, can be found here.​

FC4S launches statement on guiding principles for the development of taxonomies

Halifax, 18 September 2018 –A “shared language” for green and sustainable finance is critical for the growth of new markets, and for compatibility and coherence between jurisdictions, the FC4S Network – the world’s platform of leading financial centres working on sustainability – said in a joint statement released after a G7 meeting on sustainable finance in Halifax.

The Network said new definitions, standards, and classification systems for sustainable finance should be developed to avoid confusion among policy and regulatory authorities and a real risk of increasing transaction costs for financial institutions seeking to provide sustainability-related products and services.

Importantly, several processes to develop “taxonomies” for sustainable finance are currently planned, or already underway – including the establishment by the European Union of a Technical Expert Group to develop a clear classification of economic activities and sectors which can be branded as “sustainable”.

To help achieve convergence, the statement sets out ten principles including the scope, purpose, good practice, proportionality and mechanisms of the taxonomies.

The statement – launched at a high-level Roundtable meeting on the eve of the 2018 G7 Environment, Energy, and Ocean Ministers’ meeting in Halifax – represents the continuation of G7 work on sustainable finance initiated by the Italian Presidency, where cooperation among financial centres was endorsed and encouraged. The Network itself was then launched by UN Environment in Casablanca in September 2017 with a mission to exchange experience and take common action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance.

Speaking at the Roundtable meeting, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change, said: “The transition to a sustainable global economy represents a $26 trillion economic opportunity. Financial centres play a significant role in shifting capital to sustainable investment. As host of the G7 Environment, Oceans and Energy Ministers Meeting, Canada welcomes the leadership of the Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability in developing these ten principles, which are an important step to advancing sustainable finance and shifting billions to trillions of dollars to clean investment across the globe.”

Jennifer Reynolds, President and CEO of Toronto Finance International, said: “Toronto is North America’s 2nd largest financial centre and has the opportunity to develop a leading hub for green and sustainable finance – we are proud to have been a leading contributor to the development of this statement. Clear and coherent language for sustainable finance is key if we are to move from niche to mainstream – and this statement sets out how to coordinate this evolving environment.”

Francesco La Camera, Director General for Sustainable Development and International Affairs of the Italian Ministry of Environment, said: “It is remarkable how far the FC4S Network has come since its endorsement by the G7 in Italy last year – bringing in more than ten leading international centres to shape a new agenda for public-private collaboration. We are proud to support the Network as it continues to grow.”

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment said: “UN Environment works across the sustainability and finance agenda – and I can recognize that the FC4S Network is having a significant impact on the international policy sphere. I hope G7 nations can now take these principles forward by applying them in their own domestic processes.”

Nick Robins, Senior Advisor on Sustainable Finance, said: “These ten principles are an important foundation for the technical discussions that market and policy institutions will face together – and we hope that the FC4S Network can serve as a platform for dialogue on these challenging issues.”

Notes to Editors

The FC4S Statement, “Building Shared Language for Green and Sustainable Finance”, can be found here. The Briefing accompanying the statement can be found here

About the FC4S Network

The FC4S is a partnership between leading financial centres and the United Nations Environment Programme, which acts as its Convenor and Secretariat. The objective of the Network is to enable financial centres to exchange experience, drive convergence, and take action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance. Following from endorsement by G7 Environment Ministers under the 2017 Italian G7 Presidency, the FC4S Network was launched in September 2017 with the support of the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land, and Sea. The Network is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Current members of the Network include:

  • Astana: Astana International Financial Centre
  • Casablanca: Casablanca Finance City Authority
  • Dublin: Sustainable Nation Ireland
  • Frankfurt: Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany
  • Geneva: Sustainable Finance Geneva
  • Hong Kong: Green Finance Task Force
  • London: City of London Green Finance Initiative
  • Luxembourg: Luxembourg for Finance
  • Liechtenstein: Liechtenstein Bankers Association
  • Milan: Centro Finanziario Italiano per la Sostenbilita (CFIS)
  • Paris: Finance for Tomorrow
  • Seoul: Seoul Metropolitan Government
  • Shanghai: Lujiazui Financial City
  • Shenzhen: Shenzhen Green Finance Committee
  • Stockholm: Stockholm Green Digital Finance
  • Toronto: Toronto Finance International
  • Zurich: Swiss Sustainable Finance

Partner organisations include:

  • Climate Bonds Initiative
  • Climate-KIC
  • Principles for Responsible Investment
  • Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative
  • UNEP Finance Initiative

The press release can be downloaded here.

The G7 Bologna Communiqué of Environment Ministers from June 2017 can be found here.

The Casablanca statement on financial centres for sustainability from September 2017 can be found here.

The UN Environment report, Accelerating Financial Centres’ Action for Sustainable Development, can be found here.​

About Toronto Finance International (TFI)

TFI (www.tfi.ca) is a public-private partnership between Canada’s three levels of government, the financial services sector and academia. TFI’s mission is to lead collective action that drives the competitiveness and growth of Toronto’s financial sector and establishes its prominence as a leading international financial centre. (TFI was formerly known as Toronto Financial Services Alliance.)

For more information and to arrange interviews, contact:

Jeremy McDaniels (Head of Projects, FC4S Network), at Jeremy.McDaniels@un.org.

Sonia Prashar (TFI media contact), at soniaprashar@sppublicrelations.com