Green agenda is far more than just climate

05 February 2021

Written by Dr Andy Sloan Guernsey Finance

The United Nations’ Financial Centres For Sustainability (FC4S) Network, of which Guernsey Green Finance is a proud member, recently published findings based on its third Annual Assessment survey – Shifting Gears II.

What struck me most when reading the report was how the green agenda is clearly moving beyond just climate issues - there is a pivot towards broader sustainability. This is something that Guernsey has very much seen too, and it’s great to appreciate how common these experiences are, which we see from being part of the FC4S network.

The survey, which we participated in, helps FC4S to assess the global development of sustainable finance. It provides members with a baseline alignment to the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, and an update on progress in different centres. It also helps identify areas where more support is required to underpin progress, and further drive progress through strategic roadmap development.

It offered brilliant insight from FC4S on the trends and developments within global finance centres on the sustainability agenda - well done to Managing Director Stephen Nolan and his team.

I won’t spoil the report for you (you can read it in full here), but I will pick out a couple of key takeaways from our perspective. We were pleased to see that its findings are absolutely in line with our experiences in Guernsey.

The limited availability of data is the major challenge facing the world’s financial centres as they try to embrace climate-friendly investment and sustainability practices, but despite the challenges, including the huge impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global financial centres have made significant progress in developing sustainable finance ecosystems. Many have doubled, or in some cases even tripled, capital outflows toward low-carbon transition or the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

It was also interesting to note the importance of collaboration with other members, which I discussed further with Stephen in our latest Guernsey Green Finance podcast (see below). We’re so proud to support and be a member of such a great initiative and we’ve certainly gained much from the collaborative spirit of the network. A geographic spread of members is really important. There are now five members in the Americas, and the USA coming back into the Paris Agreement is a huge boost to the work being done in those jurisdictions.

Developing a framework for jurisdictions is something we cannot shout loudly enough about. FC4S has really shifted gears with its network over the last couple of years. It was great to hear about the spirit of collaboration and the achievements of collaboration, the ability of the FC4S to provide that jurisdictional framework and assessment in alignment with Paris. We use it a lot and I’d recommend and jurisdiction that calls itself a serious financial centre to use it too. It’s certainly been very useful for us and another aspect of being part of the network is that international collaboration and the knowledge sharing that comes from it.

Guernsey Green Finance will be acting on the findings of the report, such as the increased focus on professional development and education through the development of guidance documents.

We also look forward to the subsequent private report from the FC4S that shows our personal results, and in turn to analysing our individual results in developing our green and sustainable strategy for the year.

You can learn more by reading our jurisdictional assessment piece from last year.

I also enjoyed discussing the report further with Stephen in our latest Guernsey Green Finance podcast, which you can listen to here.

In my usual scouting of the sustainable finance world, it was also a pleasure to see Guernsey in such esteemed company as it was named alongside so many big nations in the Climate Bond Initiative’s latest analysis of green bond issuance (see below, image courtesy of the Climate Bonds Initiative).

Read more in their LinkedIn post, which links to the full report, here:

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