Tokyo becomes 25th member of UN sustainable financial centres network as Japan steps up on ESG

The announcement was made by the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government, the municipal government authority of one of the world’s largest urban areas, has joined the Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) Network, the body convened by the UN Environment Programme. Tokyo becomes the 25th FC4S member.

The announcement was made by the Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike (Twitter handle: ‘ecoyuri’) at the Tokyo Dialogue on Sustainable Finance event convened by the Japan Climate Initiative and UNEP FI in Tokyo yesterday.

Tokyo is home to some of the world’s largest banks and insurers — and the world’s largest institutional investor, the $1.5trn Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), which has made huge strides towards ESG under investment chief Hiro Mizuno.

The latest development is the latest in a series of announcements on sustainable finance in Japan over recent months.

On May 27, the Japan TCFD Consortium was launched by Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Ministry of Environment (MOE), and Financial Services Agency (JFSA).

JFSA is a member of the Sustainable Insurance Forum, the leadership group of insurance regulators collaborating on sustainability risks, as well as a member of Central Bank and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS).Just this week METI launched (Japanese) a 42-page guide to the Sustainable Development Goals for companies and investors, backed by corporates such as Sony and Tokio Marine and investors including GPIF and BlackRock.

Tokyo’s admission brings the FC4S Network five members in Asia, including Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai and Shenzhen.

FC4S will now begin the process of developing a dedicated strategy for sustainable finance in Asia, responding to the plans and needs of member financial centres in the region under its FC4S Asia and Pacific platform.

Koike said: “As a leading regional and global financial centre, Tokyo is mindful of the importance of the sustainable finance agenda. Not least to finance Japan’s transition to a low-carbon economy and put Japanese capital to work supporting the low-carbon transition of our region and further afield.”

The FC4S Network was launched in Casablanca in 2017 with a secretariat in Geneva; it is headed by Managing Director Stephen Nolan.