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GFANZ launches APAC network and appoints Ravi Menon, Hiro Mizuno to regional advisory board

The news comes as the Alliance for Green Commercial Banks lines up global banking giants including HSBC and Citi as ‘cornerstone members’.

Singapore

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) formally launched its regional network and advisory board for the Asia-Pacific region at the opening of the Singapore Stock Exchange securities market on Wednesday.

The network will support GFANZ’s work in the region – engaging with financial institutions and policymakers on net zero and ensuring that the alliance’s work is “inclusive and available to all”.

The Singapore Stock Exchange will host the network, with support from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Temasek and Bain & Company. It will be led by Yuki Yasui, who has worked at UNEP FI for nearly 20 years and is currently APAC coordination manager.

Ravi Menon, managing director of Singapore’s financial regulator, will chair the board. He will be joined by Hiro Mizuno, former CIO at Japan’s government pension investment fund and currently UN special envoy on innovative finance and sustainable investments; Boon Chye Loh, CEO of the Singapore Stock Exchange Group; and experts from the Asia Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, KB Financial Group and Climateworks Centre.

Commenting on the launch, Menon said: “Asia is key to the world’s transition to net zero,” adding that “catalysing green finance on the scale that is necessary to address the climate crisis will require active collaboration between the financial industry and financial regulators”. Meanwhile, Mizuno warned: “If we fail to achieve net zero in the [APAC] region, we would fail globally.”

GFANZ said more members would be added to the board over the course of this year, and that it will seek to balance membership across geographies and sectors, ensuring the network “accounts for regional economic and policy conditions”. Networks for Latin America and Africa will also be launched.

The APAC launch comes as the Alliance for Green Commercial Banks announced five new signatories, with some of the world’s largest banks signing up to the IFC-run initiative.

Bank of China Hong Kong, Citi, Credit Agricole, HSBC and Standard Chartered have become “cornerstone members” of the alliance, which brings together financial institutions, researchers and tech providers to promote sustainable economic development in emerging markets. According to its website, cornerstone members are “demonstrated leaders in green finance practices who have made concrete achievements towards the Alliance’s key pillars”. Cornerstone membership is by invitation only.

The Alliance has also published a new paper on climate risk in collaboration with the Hong Kong Institute for Monetary and Financial Research.