Madrid latest in flood of cities joining FC4S
Madrid, 23 July 2019 –Madrid today officially joined the International Network of Financial Centers for Sustainability (FC4S), bringing to 27 the number of financial centers joining the UN Environment Program-convened movement to put private capital behind green investments.
“With our entry to FC4S, our center is joining a thriving international sustainable finance movement, undertaken by the world’s large corporations in compliance with the Paris Agreement,” said José María Roldán, President of the Spanish Banking Association. “We want to learn from the experiences developed in other countries and implement joint initiatives that can help companies comply with climate imperatives, be more aware of the importance of respecting the environment and support the need for a fairer and more sustainable economy.”
“This announcement shows the commitment of the Spanish credit institutions with sustainable finance. Our main aim will be taking common action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of sustainability and an ASG culture throughout Spanish economy ”, expressed José Maria Mendez, General Manager of the Spanish Savings and Retail Banks Association (CECA).
Madrid’s stock market capitalization is about half of the country’s GDP, demonstrating the might it can bring to bear on sustainability. According to the Green Bond Market in Europe report from 2018, Madrid’s cumulative green bond issuance from 2014 to the first quarter of 2018 was EUR 9.8 billion. Over half of this volume came in 2017 alone.
Madrid is the ninth ranked financial center in the EU, according to the Global Financial Center Index, but in 2018 it improved its position – posting the second-highest rise in Europe and the sixth highest in the world.
The Spanish city will be represented by the Center for Responsible and Sustainable Finance in Spain (FINRESP) – a joint initiative of the main associations of the Spanish financial sector: banks, insurance companies and investment funds. FINRESP’s main goal is to promote the necessary financing to achieve the sustainable development of the Spanish economy, with a special focus on SMEs.
“On behalf of the Spanish insurance industry, I would like to welcome the decision of FINRESP to join FC4S,” said Pilar González de Frutos, President of the Spanish Association of Insurers and Reinsurers (UNESPA). “We consider it an excellent opportunity for the insurance business to contribute to facing the risks and opportunities associated with environmental, social and governance issues.”
Moreover Angel Martínez-Aldama, President of the Spanish Investment Funds and Pension Funds Association remarks that “sustainable finance is a driver not only for the asset management industry, but for the financial community. We need to trigger this trend.”
Beijing, Cairo, Lagos 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.
“Major Spanish banks and the Spanish Banking Association have already pledged their support for the Principles of Responsible Banking, but this move to join FC4S demonstrates even stronger will to back the transition to a green economy,” said Stephen Nolan, head of FC4S. “I am hugely encouraged by the groundswell of global support for sustainability we are seeing from the private sector this year, and believe that we are on the verge of something truly transformational.”
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