(28 September 2017, Casablanca) The United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) initiative took part in the inaugural meeting of financial centres harnessing expertise to drive action on climate change and sustainable development. A group of the world’s leading financial centres agreed at the meeting to taking strategic action on green and sustainable finance.
“Cooperation on sustainable finance is not only essential, it is also very possible, as this new network shows. The network has the potential to drive a step change in sustainable finance in the year ahead,” said Nick Robins, Co-director of the UN Environment Inquiry in the Design of a Sustainable Financial System.
The meeting was hosted by the Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and the UN Environment Inquiry, working in association with Italy’s Ministry of the Environment and Morocco’s presidency of the COP22 climate conference.
The SSE was highlighted in the background document as a strategic partner initiative for this network and an example to follow. “The network could usefully build on the SSE’s track record, taking a broader ecosystem approach across different financial centres,” the background note said.
At the inaugural meeting, representatives from 15 financial centres, which includes Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto and Zurich, signed the Casablanca Statement agreeing to:
Promote strategic action in their financial centres on green and sustainable finance;
Share knowledge to build human capacity, including on measuring the financial centre contribution to climate action and sustainable development;
Cooperate on expanding the supply of green assets and products;
Work with city, regional, national and international policymakers to build positive conditions for green and sustainable finance; and
Launch the international network of financial centres for sustainability and help in its operationalization.
The SSE moderated a panel on expanding the supply of green assets and products where panelists urged the network to collaborate on pooling assets, leveling the playing field for sustainable and green products, and developing working groups for skills sharing and development.
The network participants expressed their keen interest in involving SSE partner exchanges worldwide. (If your exchange would like to know more about the opportunities related to this network, please contact the SSE at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Statements from the financial centre representatives include:
“The leadership and commitment displayed by financial centers gathered in Casablanca gives me confidence that we can increase capital flows to vital areas on the African continent, in sustainable agriculture and clean energy notably. Our vision is to establish Casablanca as a hub for green finance dedicated to Africa.” – Said Ibrahimi, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority
“London is committed to working with other financial centres to grow the global market for green finance. This new network can help leverage the world’s capital markets in pursuit of climate change mitigation by sharing best practice and agreeing on common principles.” – Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative
“The current momentum is exceptional to make finance commit to more sustainable and inclusive growth. Paris wishes to connect the expertise of its ecosystem with this new network of financial centres. There is much we can do together to shift the trillions.” – Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova and chair of Paris’ Finance for Tomorrow initiative
“Shanghai wants to rapidly and solidly expand green finance practice and is excited to work with other financial centres in the network which is creative for green finance development from early stage covering internationalization and balance simultaneously.” – Kong Wei, Convenor of the Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Committee in Shanghai
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