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

Leading Finance Centres agree action plan for Green and Sustainable Finance

Milan, 13 April 2018 – For the first time, a significant number of the world’s leading financial centres have agreed a shared strategy for accelerating green and sustainable finance. The inaugural meeting of the international network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) brought together 16 member centres – Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Stockholm, Toronto and Zurich – as well as a wide range of observers and partner organisations.

Sustainable finance is now recognised as one of the megatrends shaping the future of global capital markets. The FC4S Network flows from the work undertaken by Italy’s Ministry of Environment during Italy’s 2017 G7 Presidency, which endorsed and encouraged cooperation among financial centres. The Network itself was then launched 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”. The Network was presented at the Italian Cultural Centre during the One Planet Summit in Paris, in December 2017. So far in 2018, it has expanded its international membership and defined a three-year working strategy with the support of Italy. UN Environment is establishing the network’s secretariat in Geneva with support from Swiss public authorities at both the federal and cantonal levels, as well as from private sources in Geneva.

Italy’s Ministry of Environment and the Comune di Milano hosted the Network during its two-day meeting in Milan. At the meeting, members agreed a five-point action plan to build international cooperation among financial centres on climate action and sustainable development:

– First, to strengthen links among members, including through regional hubs for Europe, Asia and Africa. The European hub has just been launched in partnership with Climate-KIC. These hubs will involve centres in the regions as well as internationally

– Second, to develop a robust benchmarking and assessment tool to enable financial centres to evaluate their progress and inspire further action. This will build on initial work presented in 2017 by I4CE and PWC.

– Third, to develop a joint statement on the importance of effective taxonomies for green and sustainable finance. A common language is key if green and sustainable finance is to develop in a trusted and dynamic fashion across the world.

– Fourth, to share experience on green digital finance, including through testing the Green Assets Wallet, a new approach to improve efficiency and transparency in the green debt market.

– Fifth, to gather the experience of financial centres in the development of the green bond market. This resulting briefing paper will be produced together with the Climate Bonds Initiative.

The Network will also explore in more detail ways of sharing efforts to build the capacity of financial professionals in green and sustainable finance and also connecting financial centres with the green and sustainable needs of economic regions.

Erik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment said: “Financial centres are the key places in the global economy which determine where capital flows. We’re delighted to convene this network of passionate leaders”.

Arabella Caporello, City Manager of Milan said: “We’re honoured to host the inaugural meeting in our city. Local authorities are on the front line in the challenge to achieve sustainable development goals and we believe that financial centres can drive the transition to a low carbon economy and inclusive society. The City of Milan is strongly involved in boosting sustainable development and specialised financial tools are a crucial point to achieve this goal”.

Francesco La Camera, Director General for Sustainable Development and International Affairs of the Italian Ministry of Environment, said: “The Information Centre for Environment-Climate Cooperation in Africa, another issue promoted by the G7 under Italian Presidency, might be an effective partner and support to the regional African Hub of FC4S”.

Nick Robins, Co-director of the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System said: “The Milan meeting showed the real desire of leading financial centres to share experience and work together to make the transition to a sustainable economy cheaper, faster and smoother”.

Notes to Editors

Green finance is defined as finance that delivers environmental benefits in the context of sustainable development. Sustainable finance looks more broadly at environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in both market practice and policy frameworks for banking, capital markets, investment and insurance to deliver the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The past year has been marked by positive signs of progress in sustainable finance. Issuance of green bonds exceeded USD 155 billion in 2017, up from USD 82 billion in 2016.

Leading countries and regions are also introducing strategic roadmaps to harness their financial systems for sustainability, notably China, EU, Italy, Morocco and the UK. Canada has just established an Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.

Financial centres bring together a cross-section of different activities including banking, capital markets, insurance and investment, as well as regulation and new themes like fintech. It is this clustering effect that the Network will deploy through international cooperation for climate action and sustainable development.

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

The pdf version of this press release can be found here.

The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System was launched by UN Environment to improve the financial system’s effectiveness in mobilizing capital for sustainable development. More information is available at: www.unepinquiry.org

World’s Financial Centres join forces to promote Sustainable Finance

Casablanca, 28 September 2017 – Over 10 of the world’s leading financial centres today agreed to promote strategic action on green and sustainable finance, at the first-ever international meeting of financial centres, held in Casablanca.
Financial centres including Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Hong Kong, Milan, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai and Stockholm backed the Casablanca statement, agreeing to harness their expertise to drive action on climate change and sustainable development.
Said Ibrahimi, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority said: “The leadership and commitment displayed by financial centers gathered in Casablanca gives me confidence that we can increase capital flows to vital areas on the African continent, in sustainable agriculture and clean energy notably. Our vision is to establish Casablanca as a hub for green finance dedicated to Africa.”
Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative said: “London is committed to working with other financial centres to grow the global market for green finance. This new network can help leverage the world’s capital markets in pursuit of climate change mitigation by sharing best practice and agreeing on common principles.”
Kong Wei, Convenor of the Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Committee in Shanghai said: “Shanghai wants to rapidly and solidly expand green finance practice and is excited to work with other financial centres in the network which is creative for green finance development from early stage covering internationalization and balance simultaneously.”
Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova and chair of Paris’ Finance for Tomorrow initiative, said: “The current momentum is exceptional to make finance commit to more sustainable and inclusive growth. Paris wishes to connect the expertise of its ecosystem with this new network of financial centres. There is much we can do together to shift the trillions.”
Financial centres are key locations in the economy where banking, investment and insurance markets are concentrated. This clustering of skills now needs to be focused on mobilizing the finance required to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
A growing number of financial centres have introduced dedicated green and sustainable initiatives to seize this opportunity. This year’s G7 in Italy also identified the potential for cooperation among financial centres through a new international network. By supporting the Casablanca statement, the financial centres have agreed to launch the international network of financial centres for sustainability. This network will aim to raise awareness, promote common standards, drive innovation and build the vital skills needed for the expansion of green and sustainable finance.
The meeting was hosted by the Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, working in association with Italy’s Ministry of the Environment and Morocco’s presidency of the COP22 climate conference.
“Clearly financial centres compete,” said Nick Robins, Co-Director of the UN Environment Inquiry. “But cooperation on sustainable finance is not only essential, it is also very possible, as this new network shows. The network has the potential to drive a step change in sustainable finance in the year ahead.”

Notes to Editors

Green finance is defined as finance that delivers environmental benefits in the context of sustainable development. Sustainable finance looks more broadly at environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in both market practice and policy frameworks for banking, capital markets, investment and insurance. The investment required to bring sustainable development and climate action in developing countries amounts to US$2.5 trillion each year, with as much as 10 times that needed globally in the years to come – mainly from private sources.

The Casablanca statement on financial centres for sustainability can be found here. Following the Casablanca event, which focused on purpose and design, the inaugural meeting of the new network will be held in Italy in early 2018.

About Casablanca Finance City (CFC):

CFC is a pan-African financial centre established in 2010. Recognized as the leading financial center in Africa and a partner of the world’s largest international financial centres, CFC has succeeded in building a strong community of financial sector members, regional headquarters of multinational companies, service providers and holding companies.

The centre offers its members an attractive proposition with great value and a premium “doing business” support that encourages the deployment of their activities in Africa.

Driven by the ambition to satisfy its community, CFC is developing an african expertise in order to facilitate the development of its members in the continent.

Additional information about CFC can be found at www.casablancafinancecity.com

– The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System was launched by UN Environment to improve the financial system’s effectiveness in mobilizing capital for sustainable development. Established in January 2014, it published the first edition of ‘The Financial System We Need’ in October 2015, with the second edition launched in October 2016. The Inquiry has worked in over 20 countries and produced a wide array of briefings and reports on sustainable finance. It is secretariat for the G20 Green Finance Study Group as well as the Sustainable Insurance Forum of regulators. More information is available at: www.unep.org/inquiry and www.unepinquiry.org