United Nations Environment Programme environment for development

G20 Green Finance Study Group Meets for the First Time in Beijing

Beijing, 26 January 2016 – On 25-26 January 2016, the first meeting of the newly launched G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) was held in Beijing, China. The meeting was attended by delegations from all G20 members, as well as 5 invited countries and 6 international organisations. This Study Group is co-chaired by China and the UK, with support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as secretariat. 

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About Us

FI About Us Title

Mobilizing the world’s capital is essential for the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. Today, however, too little capital is supporting the transition, and too much continues to be invested in a high-carbon and resource-intensive, polluting economy.

About Us

Mobilizing the world’s capital is essential for the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy. Today, however, too little capital is supporting the transition, and too much continues to be invested in a high-carbon and resource-intensive, polluting economy.

Market participants and others recognize that prevailing rules and incentives governing financial markets can disadvantage long-term, sustainable behavior. Long-term environmental risks are not being effectively counted and green opportunities are inadequately valued. Such distortions can lead to a misallocation of capital and a danger of systemic risks to the economy and the natural environment.

There is an urgent need to accelerate the transition to a green economy by better aligning the financial system to the resilience and the long-term success of the real economy. The UNEP Inquiry is intended to support such actions by identifying best practice, and exploring financial market policy and regulatory innovations that would support the development of a green financial system.

 

The Inquiry will produce a final options report as well as technical papers throughout its 18-24 month life from January 2014. It will map current best practice, draw together principles and frameworks, catalyze new thinking, and ultimately lay out a series of options for advancing a green financial system. Engagement will take place with a wide range of policy institutions, initiatives focused on green finance and financial market reform, and practitioners across the financial sector and the wider business community, as well as civil society and other actors concerned with the green economy and financial markets.

The Inquiry's current set up phase will ensure it is designed with guidance from practitioners and experts, and establish a network of world-class advisors and researchers. Engaging with existing initiatives will ensure that it can effectively convene and catalyze broad debate that supports the crystallization of options for advancing a more systematic approach to developing a green financial system.

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Publications

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New FI - Publications homepage - inquiry

New FI - Publications homepage - inquiry_reports

New FI - Publications homepage - inquiry

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Events

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Paris (France)
Wednesday, November 4, 2015


London (United Kingdom)
Thursday, January 14, 2016


Washington, DC (United States)
Friday, January 15, 2016


Lima (Peru)
Thursday, October 8, 2015


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Country Engagement

National Engagements

Policy innovation for a sustainable financial system is taking place primarily at the country level, and the Inquiry wants to understand the driving imperatives behind innovations in specific locations, the lessons emerging and the potential for further developments. The Inquiry has now undertaken advanced work with national institutions and partners, focusing initially on Bangladesh, Brazil, China, the EU, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Uganda, the UK and the USA. This work will be critical to root the Inquiry’s thinking in the diversity of country realities and needs. Some highlights from the current work include:

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Under construction

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Discussions are underway with ETB on collaboration with PAGE countries (Mauritius, Mongolia, and Peru). Initial work in South Africa has already begun, with the Inquiry teaming with the Global Green Growth Institute. Initial engagement will begin in early September for Uganda, which has requested assistance with its Green Growth strategy. Work has also begun with Colombia, who will work with the IFC. Additional countries (Morocco, Singapore, Malaysia) will be included contingent on budget.

The Advisory Council

Guiding the Inquiry

Blog

Year of Green Finance – 2016 (17 January 2016)

It is the Year of Green Finance, as my co-Director Nick Robins points out in a recent Huffington Post piece – The Year of Green Finance – a View from London. Nick was writing on the occasion of a high profile launch of the UNEP Inquiry report, The Financial System We Need, hosted by the Corporation of London, with many CEO’s and ministerial level folks from the UK Government in attendance. London’s financial community has now read and absorbed the memo that the moment has come, and so has launched a green finance initiative to explore the potential for London becoming a global hub for green finance. Hong Kong and Singapore are already part way along this track – wake up New York!

2016, The Year of Green Finance - The View From London (15 January 2016)

Heading into the New Year, global financial markets are experiencing yet another bout of volatility and turbulence. Many political, economic and environmental uncertainties and threats cloud the year ahead.

One thing is clear, however. From a strategic perspective, 2015 built a new set of policy foundations for the global economy, signaling new directions for the financial system. We now have the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, the so-called SDGs, which, in essence, plot out an annual investment pipeline measured in the trillions to end poverty and also marry increased prosperity with social inclusion and environmental regeneration.

Will Financial Technology Disrupt the Green Economy? (11 January 2016)

The UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System highlights a ‘quiet revolution’ of green financial policy making: regulators, policymakers and private standard setters around the world exploring steps to align finance with sustainability. This quiet revolution is becoming louder, and gaining momentum, demonstrated for example by China’s championing of green finance in its G20 chairmanship.

Banks, stock markets and pension funds are learning to understand the language of environmentalists, and vice versa. But these familiar incumbents of the financial system are increasingly being disrupted by new businesses using ubiquitous data, rapid communications and powerful computer algorithms.

Can Stock Markets Drive Sustainability? (7 January 2016)

Stock markets are a tool for sustainable investment; they bridge the gap between investors needing liquidity in the short-term and ventures with longer term horizons. They enhance the governance of those enterprises by making more information available to investors, both directly through the disclosures required from listed companies, and indirectly through the ‘wisdom of the crowd’ revealed in share prices.

At least that is the theory. 

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Contact us

UNEP Inquiry

icon 1Chemin des Anémones 11-13,
Geneva, Switzerland
icon 2 +41 (0) 2 29178995
icon 3www.unep.org/inquiry