UNEP FI Events Launch Tools for Sustainable Finance
Photo by IISD/ENB | Sean Wu
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The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative’s Global Roundtable discussed areas for reforming the financial system and launched knowledge products on responsible banking, positive impacts towards the SDGs, and natural capital.

Meetings and side events included discussions on climate-related financial disclosure and sessions on UNEP’s 2018 Emissions Gap Report and Inclusive Wealth Report.

Finance for Tomorrow’s Climate Finance Day focused on aligning capital flows with the fight against climate change and featured presentations on greening the financial system, among other topics.

26 November 2018: The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and Finance for Tomorrow co-organized a Global Roundtable on sustainable finance, which takes place biennially, and hosted the fourth Climate Finance Day, from 26-28 November 2018, in Paris, France. Participants discussed areas for reforming the financial system and launched of a variety of reports and tools.

The events were attended by over 1500 participants and 100 speakers from 50 countries.

The Global Roundtable featured discussions on: the role of banks and aligning the banking system with societal goals; the potential for “rethinking impact” in the financing of the SDGs; the opportunities and risks presented by natural capital; the achievements, priorities and challenges of the Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and sustainable insurance agenda; climate-related financial disclosure; and regional approaches to financing solutions to environmental and social challenges.

UNEP FI’s Positive Impact Initiative launched a position paper titled, ‘Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs,’ analyzing the “what” and “where” of financing for SDG implementation, means of breaking through barriers to directing financial flows towards the SDGs, and optimizing and leveraging public spending to accelerate SDG achievement. The landing page notes that the paper “is not just for financial institutions, but also for businesses, national and local public authorities, academia, civil society and everyday people.” The paper proposes an impact-based approach that harnesses the fourth industrial revolution and the whole of society to deliver greater outcomes with fewer resources. It is the final draft of a consultation paper made available in July 2018. [Publication: Rethinking Impact to Finance the SDGs]

The Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA)—a joint initiative between UNEP FI and the Global Canopy Programme—launched a tool that “enables users to identify and assess natural capital risk globally and a framework for banks to integrate natural capital risks into financial risk management.” The tool titled ‘Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure (ENCORE)’ is searchable by sector, sub-industry and production process, and shows the ecosystem services and natural capital assets on which the industry is dependent. A technical session provided training for banks and other interested parties on integrating natural capital risks into their portfolios. [Business Wire press release] [ENCORE website]

Other meetings and side events included an in-depth workshop on Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) aligned assessments of climate risks and opportunities for investment and insurance members, a PSI board meeting, the Natural Capital Policy Forum, the launch of UNEP’s Emissions Gap Report 2018, and a media roundtable on UNEP’s Inclusive Wealth Report.

Discussions at Climate Finance Day focused on aligning capital flows with the fight against climate change, presented the results of analyses on greening the financial system, and included breakout sessions on private equity and green loans.

Also during the roundtable, UNEP FI and a group of 28 banks launched a global public consultation on six proposed principles for responsible banking, as a tool for increasing positive societal contributions while mitigating negative environmental, social and economic impacts. A conversation with the bank CEOs highlighted the banking industry’s role in both aligning with and financing implementation of the SDGs and Paris Agreement on climate change. [UNEP FI Global Roundtable website] [Climate Finance Day website]


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