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COP22: Capital Market Leaders Gather in Marrakesh to Promote Green Finance

For the event programme, list of speakers, click here.

(Marrakesh, 16 November) While political leaders convened in Marrakesh for the United Nations Climate Summit (COP22), capital market leaders from around the world came together to discuss how regulators, stock exchanges and investors can promote the growing area of green finance, particularly in developing countries.

“Stock exchanges play an important role in the transition to a green economy. We are seeing extremely positive momentum from the South where often younger and smaller exchanges have been able to have a significant impact. I believe we can all learn from the rapid progress that has been made there.” said Eric Usher, Head of UNEP-FI who moderated the session.

“The global economic transition to a low carbon economy is under way, with significant implications for capital markets, issuers and investors,” said Nikhil Rathi, CEO of the London Stock Exchange. “We are committed to facilitating the international green finance flows that the transition requires and to supporting the development of efficient green capital markets in emerging economies.”

“Green finance is gaining substantial momentum in 2016, thanks to the Paris Agreement and G20 leaders’ recognition of its importance,” said Ma Jun, Chief Economist of the People’s Bank of China. “The potential for scaling up green financing is massive, as evidenced by the 60% growth of the green bond market estimated for this year.”

Gérard Rameix, Chairman of AMF France spoke about the importance of building on the success of COP21, the UN Climate Summit held in Paris last year. “France has kept the momentum since the 2015 Paris agreement to ensure that environmental and climate issues are part of financial decision-making processes and that more investments are driven towards sustainable patterns. The AMF is part of this momentum.”

“Stock exchanges play a crucial role in climate-related projects: they ensure that funding is raised in a transparent way,” said Maurice Bauer, Secretary General of Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Luxembourg Stock Exchange currently leads the world in the number of green bond listings.

“We need to link the capital depth in the north with the climate needs of the South,” said Sean Kidney, CEO and Co-Founder of the Climate Bond Initiative. “Matching global capital with green infrastructure pipelines is the North-South Challenge.”

Bora Oruç, Executive Vice Chairman of the Capital Market Board of Turkey, addressed the topic of the green economy amidst global volatility, “Rising volatility in the world economy will be a major factor affecting green growth and not just for South. We need to align the expectations of green project developers and investors.”

The event was organized by The Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC), The Casablanca Stock Exchange, The Moroccan Central Securities Depository (MAROCLEAR), and the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative. Karim Hajji, CEO of The Casablanca Stock Exchange explained, “African regulators, exchanges and finance professionals have a historic opportunity to work more closely together, building capacity and spurring innovative financial instruments to channel investment towards the transition to a low carbon economy.” And added, “In today’s historic low rates environment, renewable energies, improved energy, water and waste management efficiency, provide investors with the opportunity to do good for the planet while improving their returns.”

The event took place alongside the 2016 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP22). For more information about COP22, please click here.