(25 January 2018) The Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative was invited to speak at the IOSCO Africa and Middle East Regional Committee Annual Conference on how stock exchanges can grow green finance in their markets, as well as other key sustainability opportunities. ESG reporting and labelling of green projects were some of the key issues addressed; alongside strategies to assist the region in attracting sustainable finance.
“Green finance products have already been introduced in several markets and have seen tremendous growth, with green bond and green equity indices outperforming their non-green benchmarks,” said Anthony Miller, UNCTAD coordinator of the SSE initiative, highlighting initiatives already underway in the region. “In Africa we have seen a keen interest in green and sustainable products, particularly in the bond market in recent years.”
The SSE shared lessons learned and provided a series of best practice examples within its guidance and voluntary action plan for stock exchanges on growing green finance, as part of a broader discussion on improving environmental, social and governance disclosure.
The full day event featured high-level discussion among key capital market stakeholders including regulators, exchanges, investors, issuers and capital markets international and regional experts to deliver their views on the challenges and opportunities of market-based financing growth and sustainable development.
Morocco’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Mr. Mohamed Boussaid opened the event, alongside Ms. Nezha Hayat, President of the Moroccan Capital Markets Authority, Ms. Miriem Bensalah Charqroun, Chairperson of the Moroccan General Corporate Confederation, and Mr. Paul Andrews, IOSCO Secretary General.
The event had three panels, covering infrastructure, SME financing, green finance and regional integration.
About the Sustainable Stock Exchanges initiative
The SSE is 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 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