Fostering Financial Sector Climate Leadership
As sources of financing for businesses, lenders and investors can have a very significant impact on efforts to promote alignment of business practices with specific goals. The role of socially responsible investing, impact investing and environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in finance has grown as more and more investors and bank shareholders prefer to see their money used to finance enterprises and activities that are reflective of their social values. As the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have gained traction in recent years, ESG finance has become an important focus of attention among lenders, investors, financial industry associations, multilateral institutions, governments and regulators.
During their dialogue in 2020, APEC Finance Ministers welcomed ABAC’s recommendations on ESG finance. These included a call for a globally consistent and principles-based ESG taxonomy or set of standards that is flexible in approach and open to different speeds of adoption, as well as dynamic and taking into account the impact of evolving technologies. ABAC also called for an inclusive process of developing global standards, frameworks, principles and best practices. Ministers welcomed the proposal to establish a platform, the Sustainable Finance Development Network (SFDN), which has since been established and is now developing a roadmap to promote coherence of approaches to ESG finance among economies and strengthen the region’s role in the development of global standards.
This year, as part of its report to APEC Leaders and Ministers, ABAC aims to develop a set of Climate Leadership Principles that can help guide businesses in addressing climate change and establish a clearer vision about how a low-carbon future in the region could be achieved. Considering the huge role that lenders and investors can play in this process, this Roundtable will seek to identify principles for fostering financial sector climate leadership that can be incorporated into the ABAC Climate Leadership Principles, as well as concrete actions that can be taken to facilitate an effective role for lenders and investors in promoting sustainable business practices.
The SME Finance Forum CEO, Matt Gamser, will participate in the panel discussion: Financial Sector Leadership to Take the Climate Change Agenda Forward, on March 30th, 2021, at 21hs EST.
Moderator: Mr. Pablo Casaux, Sherpa, APFF Sustainable Finance Development Network; and Market Structure Strategist, Bloomberg
Ms. Helena Fung, Head of Sustainable Investment, APAC, FTSE Russell; and Co-Chair, Sustainable Finance Working Group, Asia Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (ASIFMA)
Dr. Matthew Gamser, CEO, SME Finance Forum; and Chief Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation
Mr. Jeremy McDaniels, Senior Advisor – Sustainable Finance, Institute of International Finance
Mr. Masaaki Nagamura, Sherpa, APFF Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance Network; Fellow and General Manager International Initiatives, Corporate Planning Dept., Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd.; and Member, Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
Ms. Vanessa Wang, Senior Managing Director and Head of Institutional Group, US, Amundi