PRI seeks investor input for G20 green finance study as World Bank seeks to ‘green’ pensions

Investor body is engaging at the highest level on green investment ahead of China summit

The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) is asking institutional investors in the G20 group of industrialised nations to outline the barriers to scaling up green investments.

The responses will feed into the G20 summit meeting in China in September, where green finance will be high on the agenda. Indeed, just today (April 8), officials released a text of a Presidency statement on climate change which backs the Paris Agreement and states that “climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today”.

“This is the first Presidency Statement on climate change issued by the G20 and an important early harvest of the Hangzhou Summit to be held in early September,” a G20 statement said.

The PRI is contributing to the new G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) that is co-chaired by the Peoples Bank of China and the Bank of England as a “knowledge partner” on institutional investors, alongside the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). UNEP hosts the GFSG’s secretariat.

The body is tasked with looking at how green finance can be scaled up throughout the G20, focusing on banking, green bonds, institutional investors, risk analysis and measuring progress.

Last month the PRI spent two days with G20 finance officials, the OECD and IMF, outlining the actions its signatories are already taking in green finance, as well as barriers and policy options, it said.

“Now we are asking institutional investors across G20 to feed in to the PRI study by telling us the top 3-5 barriers institutional investors across the G20 face when it comes to scaling up green investments.”Investors should email or by April 18. “The G20 study’s formal paper will launch in May – your input would be most welcome indeed,” the PRI said.

The first Presidency Statement on climate change ever issued by the G20

It comes as the World Bank has unveiled plans to help developing countries add 30 gigawatts of renewable energy – enough to power 150 million homes – to the world’s energy capacity by 2020. It’s one of a set of ambitious targets laid out in its new Climate Change Action Plan.

As part of the push, the IFC which is a member of the World Bank, aims to expand its climate investments from the current $2.2bn a year to a goal of $3.5bn. As well its own financing, the World Bank also intends to mobilize $25 billion in commercial financing for clean energy over the next five years.

The Bank Group says it will also help “green” the financial sector through a coordinated approach across banking, pensions and capital markets to implement changes needed nationally and globally.

Meanwhile, the OECD has launched a project looking at how investments in low-carbon technologies face specific investment barriers “linked to policy misalignments and market failures”.

It will produce a report to support the key findings from Aligning Policies for a Low-Carbon Economy project, especially the need to align broader policy areas with climate goals, beyond setting climate policies.