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China SIF: The 2021 Sustainable Stock Exchange Roundtable co-hosted by UN SSE and IFC

The 2021 Sustainable Stock Exchange Roundtable webinar, co-hosted by the UN SSE, the China SIF and the IFC, as a side event during the 9th China Social Investment Forum Week that brought together domestic and international policymakers, standard setters, asset managers, financial intermediaries, as well as corporate and academic representatives to decode "How to do ESG". The discussions addressed new developments arising from the rapid increase of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment approaches and provided insights for domestic and international policies and shared insights on financial instruments towards net-zero commitments.

In recent years, attention to climate change in the financial market has been on the rise. The world’s major markets have reached $35.3 trillion at the end of 2020 related to ESG investments. However, the lack of available data, limited research, and slow pace in mobilizing capital into the new products, still block the way of ESG practices worldwide. Experts estimate that $125 trillion of climate investment is needed by 2050 to meet net zero, with investment from now until 2025 need to triple compared to the last five years to put the world on track. About half of the all-global investment is expected to take place in Asia Pacific, with particularly large levels of investment required in key countries like China and India. Therefore, it is crucial that the regulators, asset managers, asset owners, and third-party service providers have focused discussions on how to take a holistic approach to integrate ESG factors into investment practices and contribute to the global net-zero goals. This current context set the scene for the roundtable event this year.

The webinar started with a keynote address by Tiffany Grabski, Senior Specialist at the UN SSE, introducing the SSE’s Model Guidance on Climate Disclosure and the Action Plan to Make Markets Climate Resilient: How stock exchanges can integrate the TCFD recommendations, publications recently launched by the UN initiative to assist stock exchanges to support their market participants and provide a template that exchanges can use to develop issuer oriented guidance for their markets on climate-related disclosure. As the core of capital market systems, stock exchanges have an important voice in the market and through their educational initiatives, disclosure requirements and leadership role in the market, they have an important role to play in advancing climate-aligned business practices and the transition to net zero. 

Atiyah Curmally, Principal E&S Specialist from, presented IFC’s work in building and leveraging ESG data, including the IFC toolkit for disclosure and transparency which is part of a broader effort to enhance disclosure and transparency in countries and companies, IFC performance indicators, and MALENA, an artificial intelligence solution to support ESG integration through an NLP-driven tool for ESG data analysis. Guo Peiyuan, Chairman of China SIF and SynTao Green Finance, introduced the PANDA database, the carbon neutrality database of China’s A-share listed companies developed by SynTao Green Finance. The database can support investors to develop carbon thematic financial products.

After that, Yuan Wei, Asia ESG Advisory from IFC, chaired the panel discussion, attended by four distinguished guests: LIU Fuzhong, Director of International Department from SZSE, Julien MARTIN, Head of Emerging Business Development from HKEX, Jonathan HO, Sustainability Specialist from Allianz Global Investors and Wilson WEI, Head of ESG Research from E Fund. The discussion focused on how they promote and use ESG data, as well as their practices on ESG investing. Liu Fuzhong highlighted the importance of technology in ESG investing. Julien Martin shared their experience on ESG reporting guides and capacity building. Jonathan Ho introduced Allianz’s three steps towards ESG data availability: partnership with diverse ESG data providers, engagement with companies, propriety research at the ground level. Wilson Wei shared their experience in ESG integration through investment research, risk and opportunity analysis, and portfolio management. All panelists recognized the need for mandate disclosure at the company level and the importance of leveraging different types of ESG data to drive more responsible investment practices for a net-zero future.

China Social Investment Forum (China SIF) was established in 2012 as a non-profit organization that aims to provide a platform for investors and other stakeholders to discuss sustainable finance opportunities in China. The SSE and the IFC have been working together co-hosting for several years the Sustainable Stock Exchange Roundtable to further promote investment for sustainable development.