(26 May 2018) The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative was invited to speak at the inaugural Global Green Finance Leadership Program in Beijing, China. The six-day program included panel discussions and site visits in Beijing, Hizhou and Shanghai, and was developed to provide a platform for knowledge sharing on best practices and inspiring innovation for scaling up green and sustainable finance. Organizers aimed to generate new ideas to promote green finance and to disseminate practical knowledge and know-how on green and sustainable finance.
“It was extremely important for senior government leaders at the highest level to send a strong policy signal to regulators and market participants on the importance of green finance to the economy. Policy coordination among ministries, development of taxonomies, and information disclosure are also key to success,” said Dr. Ma Jun, Chairman of China’s Green Finance Committee, Co-Chair of G20 Green Finance Study Group, and member of the Central Banks and Supervisors Network on Greening the Financial System. Dr. Ma led the event, which included 120 policy makers, financial regulators and practitioners from over 35 countries.
“Transitioning the world’s economies to a sustainable footing will require innovative new forms of finance and investment,” said Anthony Miller, Coordinator of the SSE initiative. “The SSE works to encourage capital market participants to demonstrate leadership, seize the opportunities that green finance offers, and help the world to transition to the sustainable economies of the future.”
The SSE spoke on a panel titled “Green capital market, ESG, and disclosure”. This panel focused on corporate ESG information, climate risk disclosure, and sustainability indexes. In its presentation, the SSE presented its Green Finance Action Plan, the role of stock exchanges in promoting green finance, including the development of sustainability indices. The SSE’s work on green finance can be found here.
In closing the week-long program, Dr. Ma Jun summarised several key factors for successful building of a green financial system, which included governments sending a strong signal to business and society, the development of green finance associations, networks, and alliances, the allocation of some fiscal and policy resources to catalyze and mobilize private capital, and nurturing innovative capacity in system design and product development to develop and retain talent who understand how green finance works.
The Global Green Finance Leadership Program was co-hosted by the Center for Finance and Development of Tsinghua University, the IFC-supported Sustainable Banking Network (SBN), China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), supported by the Belt and Road Bankers Roundtable and the CFA Institute.
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative
The SSE provides a peer-to-peer learning platform for exploring how exchanges—in collaboration with investors, regulators, and companies—can encourage sustainable investment and enhance corporate transparency, and ultimately performance, on ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance) issues. The SSE is a United Nations Partnership Programme convened by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the UN Global Compact, the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). For more information on specific exchanges’ sustainability efforts, how to become a Partner Stock Exchange, and further opportunities to advance the integration of sustainability within capital markets, visit www.sseinitiative.org