Global finance centres backing sustainable investment kick-off inaugural meeting and outline priorities

First gathering in Milan starts today.

A UN-backed network of global financial centres seeking to “accelerate green and sustainable finance” today holds its inaugural meeting in Milan, saying that it is looking to grasp a “historic opportunity” to catalyse momentum on the issue. The International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability, which was born as part of the Italian presidency of the G7 and is supported by the Italian Government, now boasts 18 finance centre members: Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Milan, Liechtenstein, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Qatar, Seoul, Shanghai, Stockholm, Toronto and Zurich. It aims, “to mobilize the resources and expertise of financial centers around the world to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.
The network is part of the legacy of the UN Environment Inquiry – formally known as the Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System – which wound down recently. It was convened by UN Environment and launched in Casablanca last September. Ahead of today’s meeting, it has outlined the promotion and implementation of key standards, such as the recent recommendations by the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), and the sharing of experiences on green loans and green fintech as potential early priorities.

It has also identified seven strategic areas, including:

• Facilitating “clarity and convergence” on definitions, taxonomies and standards.
• Promoting market expansion through co-operation between financial centres
• Stimulating financial innovation
• Enabling performance measurement by supporting data collection and analysis on financial centres contributionErik Solheim, Executive Director of UN Environment, said: “Financial centres are the key places in the global economy which determine where capital flows. We’re delighted to convene this network of passionate leaders and aim to make a real difference for climate action and sustainable development”. The meeting, which runs over two days (12-13 April), will include speeches by Solheim and Ugo Bassi, the EU Commission’s Deputy Director, DG FISMA. There will also be roundtable discussion by representatives from the cities of Shenzen, Geneva, Casablanca, and Dublin. Xingan Ge, President & CEO of the China Emissions Exchange and Secretary-General of Shenzhen’s Green Finance Committee, said: “We are ready to take tremendous efforts to push forward the development of green finance in our city, together with our international counterparts in the Network, to facilitate the transition to a green, low carbon, and sustainable economy, which benefits the construction of ecological civilization in China and the public welfare of the Earth.” Separately, Deutsche Börse and the Ministry of Economic Affairs for German federal state of Hesse have announced (11 April) that they will merge their respective sustainability initiatives launched last year to help, “develop a unified position on the sustainable development of the German financial industry”. Deutsche Börse’s Accelerating Sustainable Finance Initiative and the Ministry’s Green Finance Cluster Frankfurt now becomes the Sustainable Finance Cluster. The management of the new initiative will be shared between the two organisations.

Link to related RI article:
Grounding Green Finance: How the world’s financial centres can speed the shift to sustainability