The importance of Sustainable Finance was once again recognized by G20 leaders through the Hamburg Action Plan, launched on 8 July, and in sustainability topics highlighted in the Leader’s Declaration, including
G20 Leaders were informed by the 2017 updates from the G20 Green Finance Study Group, which focused on two themes:
- Application of environmental risk analysis (ERA) in the financial industry [Download pdf report]
- Use of publicly available environmental data (PAED) for financial risk analysis [Download pdf report]
The GFSG also presented a Progress Report on the seven options in the 2016 GFSG Synthesis Report and 2016 G20 Communiqué.
More documents are available on the G20 Green Finance Study Group repository.
In December 2015, the international Financial Stability Board established an industry-led task force: the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (Task Force), to help identify the information needed by investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters to appropriately assess and price climate-related risks and opportunities.
The Task Force was asked to develop voluntary, consistent climate-related financial disclosures that would be useful to investors, lenders, and insurance underwriters in understanding material risks.
Task Force Recommendations
On 29 June 2017, the Task Force released its Final Report, with four widely adoptable recommendations on climate-related financial disclosures that are applicable to organizations across sectors and jurisdictions, including banks, insurance companies, asset managers, and asset owners:
- Governance – Disclose the organization’s governance around climate-related risks and opportunities
- Strategy – Disclose the actual and potential impacts of climate-related risks and opportunities on the organization’s businesses,
strategy, and financial planning where such information is material.
- Risk Management – Disclose how the organization identifies, assesses, and manages climate-related risks.
- Metrics and Targets – Disclose the metrics and targets used to assess and manage relevant climate-related risks and opportunities where such information is material.
The Task Force recommends that preparers of climate-related financial disclosures provide such disclosures in their mainstream (public) annual financial filings.
Three key documents that serve as building blocks to describe and support implementation of the Task Force’s recommendations.
About the Task Force
The 32-member Task Force members were selected by the Financial Stability Board and come from various organizations, including large banks, insurance companies, asset managers, pension funds, large non-financial companies, accounting and consulting firms, and credit rating agencies.
In a communique released on 12 June at the end of a two-day meeting in Bologna, hosted by Italy, G7 environment ministers – including the US – called increased sustainable financing “fundamental” to the achievement of sustainability and climate goals.
Communiqué – G7 Bologna Environment Ministers’ Meeting, Bologna, Italy, 11-12 June 2017
The UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System presented two reports at the meeting, which were endorsed in the final communique.:
- Mobilizing Sustainable Finance for SMEs
- Financial Centres for Sustainability
In the 2017 Budget Speech, National Treasury communicated plans to release a study examining how and to what extent investors and lenders currently finance green investment in South Africa.
The study will analyse gaps in financing and identify potential financial policy innovations that can be used to increase such investment.
Download Annexure F – A financial sector that serves all South Africans
In December 2016, UN Environment convened insurance regulators and supervisors from around the world to launch the Sustainable Insurance Forum for Supervisors (SIF).
SIF is a network of insurance supervisors and regulators from around the world who are working together on the sustainability challenges facing the business of insurance. It serves as a global platform for knowledge sharing, research and collective action.
The Forum is a groundbreaking initiative to strengthen insurance regulators’ understanding of and responses to sustainability challenges, as well as the opportunities for the insurance business.
The SIF is a joint initiative of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the global framework created by UN Environment Finance Initiative, and UN Environment’s Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System (Inquiry).
For more info, visit http://unepinquiry.org/sif/