Financial Centers, Social Enterprise World Forum Launch New Initiatives on Sustainable Finance
Photo by IISD | Lynn Wagner
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In the Casablanca statement, 15 financial centres agreed to launch an international network of financial centers for sustainability to raise awareness, promote common standards, drive innovation and build the skills needed for the expansion of green and sustainable finance.

Representatives of 17 governments and the private sector adopted the Asia-Pacific Declaration on Social Enterprise and Impact Investment, which promotes a partnership aimed at pooling expertise around the growth of social enterprise and impact investment in support of the 2030 Agenda.

28 September 2017: Fifteen of the world’s leading financial centers decided to promote strategic action on green and sustainable finance, during the first-ever international meeting of financial centers. The same day, participants in the Social Enterprise World Forum expressed their support for a multi-stakeholder initiative designed to promote the growth of social enterprise and impact investment across the Asia-Pacific region as a means of accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The financial centers Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto and Zurich adopted the ‘Casablanca Statement on Financial Centres for Sustainability,’ in which they agree to harness their expertise to drive action on climate change and sustainable development. Financial centers are locations in the economy where banking, investment and insurance markets are concentrated. The meeting aimed to direct the focus of this clustering of skills towards mobilizing the finance required to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs.

15 financial centers agreed to launch an international network to raise awareness, promote common standards, drive innovation and build the skills needed for the expansion of green and sustainable finance.

After a growing number of financial centers introduced green and sustainable initiatives in recent years, the 2017 Group of 7 (G7) meeting of Environment Ministers identified the potential for cooperation among financial centres through a new international network. In the Casablanca Statement, the financial centres agreed to launch the respective international network. The goal of the network is to raise awareness, promote common standards, drive innovation and build the skills needed for the expansion of green and sustainable finance.

Through the Casablanca statement, the financial centres agreed to:

  • promote strategic action in their financial centers on green and sustainable finance;
  • share knowledge to build human capacity, including on measuring the financial centre contribution to climate action and sustainable development;
  • cooperate on expanding the pipeline of green assets and products;
  • work with city, regional, national and international policymakers to build positive conditions for green and sustainable finance; and
  • launch the international network of financial centers for sustainability and help in its operationalization.

The meeting took place on 28 September 2017 in Casablanca, Morocco. The Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System hosted the event, in cooperation with Italy’s Ministry of the Environment and Morocco’s presidency of the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Also on sustainable finance, representatives of 17 governments and the private sector adopted the Asia-Pacific Declaration on Social Enterprise and Impact Investment, during the Social Enterprise World Forum, which convened in Christchurch, New Zealand, on 28 September. The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the British Council organized the forum.

The declaration announces a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at building a community of leaders across Asia-Pacific for pooling expertise around the growth of social enterprise and impact investment in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The partners announced include ESCAP, the British Council, the Social Enterprise World Forum, the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment, the Global Social Entrepreneurship Network, the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network and the Ākina Foundation. [UN Environment Press Release][Casablanca Statement][ESCAP Press Release]

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