Urgency for Finance Sector to set Biodiversity Targets

30 June 2020

New research published today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA), shines a spotlight on the urgent need for financial sector action on biodiversity. The report, entitled Beyond Business as Usual: Biodiversity Targets and Finance highlights the need for banks, investors and insurers to set firm targets to reduce biodiversity loss, for example ‘net positive impact’ across their activities, starting with nine critical sectors where financial players are exposed through their loans, investments or underwriting activities. Click here to download the report.

  • US$44 trillion of economic value generation, more than half the world’s GDP, is moderately or highly dependent on nature, which is under increasing threat
  • Banks, investors and insurers have made progress on setting climate and sustainability targets, but few have begun to address biodiversity loss
  • The UN-backed group sets out a step-by-step approach for financial institutions to contribute to halting biodiversity loss by setting targets to guide activity
  • Mining, Agriculture and Oil & Gas among the nine high priority sectors, along with Brewers and Apparel, Accessories and Luxury Goods

Biodiversity – the variation of species and genetics among animals, plants, fungi or microorganisms – is fundamental to economic health, yet in less than three generations, human-caused global change has accelerated sharply, altering almost 75% of our planet’s surface, from land to ocean, and posing a considerable risk of changing the Earth’s systems. The continued degradation of these vital ecosystem services represents an annual loss of at least US$479 billion per year.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of our exposure to and the risks created by the loss of nature. We urgently need all sectors of the economy to create better outcomes for people and nature. This report shows that banks, investors and insurers have a crucial part to play too. By making nature part of its decisions, and setting ambitious targets for biodiversity, the financial sector can reduce its risks and help to build a more resilient economy,” said Corli Pretorius, Deputy Director, UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)

Eric Usher, Head of UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), said, “The emergence of COVID-19 has underscored the fact that, when we destroy biodiversity, we put our lives, livelihoods and economies at risk. This report provides a pathway for financial institutions to build back better and contribute to halting and reversing the biodiversity crisis, enabling them to bring their assets and decision-making in line with global policy developments.”

Policy frameworks, such as the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, due to be agreed under the Convention on Biological Diversity in 2021, and the European Union’s 2030 Biodiversity Strategy, are placing biodiversity at the heart of a post-pandemic economic recovery.

But, the report argues, these policy goals will be impossible to achieve unless financial institutions consider biodiversity, and urgently set targets to halt, or better reverse, current rates of ecosystem degradation and species loss. While many financial institutions have set climate targets in recent years, few have begun to address the critical issue of biodiversity loss. Significant attention is paid to the financial sector’s consideration of biodiversity, including a recent investigation by the NGO ShareAction, which found that none of the world’s 75 largest asset managers has a dedicated policy on biodiversity.

This may be set to change. The European Commission, for example, is currently reviewing the reporting obligations of businesses under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive, with a view to potentially mandating new disclosures on biodiversity.

Karin Siegwart, Vice-Director of the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment, said, “Improving the understanding of industries’ exposure to biodiversity risks as well as their impact on biodiversity loss allows for better-informed decision-making. This is why we support the development of the enhanced ENCORE tool as it helps align financing and investment decisions with international biodiversity goals.”

Today’s report – developed by the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC – explores how financial institutions can contribute to halting biodiversity loss. It sets out the nine priority sectors with large financial flows and major potential dependencies or impacts on biodiversity. This enables financial institutions to gain an understanding of where the highest risks lie within their current activities to inform their target setting.

A step-by-step guide outlines approaches to target-setting on biodiversity based on an initial analysis of the nine priority sectors, with example targets including “no net loss” or “net gain” of biodiversity. These can be implemented through measures such as investing in ecosystem restoration, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainable use of natural resources. This approach enables financial institutions to reduce risk exposure and create a more resilient global economy.

“The nature crisis is accelerating. This is an existential threat to us all – and is already creating profound systemic risks for the global finance sector. Establishing evidence-based biodiversity targets is a basic and essential step for any financial institution that does not want to get left behind. This report – and the innovative ENCORE data platform that sits behind it – is an important step towards that,” said Niki Mardas, Executive Director of Global Canopy

The report draws on the science and analyses of the online ENCORE tool – Exploring Natural Capital Opportunities, Risks and Exposure – developed jointly by the NCFA and UNEP-WCMC. It will be followed later this year by a ground-breaking biodiversity module in ENCORE, currently under development in consultation with 27 financial institutions. The module will enable banks, insurers and investors to assess whether their portfolios are in alignment with global biodiversity goals.


About NCFA
The Natural Capital Finance Alliance (NCFA) is a finance sector-led initiative, providing expertise, information and tools on material aspects of natural capital for financial institutions. It works to support these institutions in integrating natural capital considerations into their risk management processes and products as well as helping them to discover new opportunities. The NCFA secretariat is run jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI)  and Global Canopy.

About the United Nations Environment Programme
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

About UNEP-WCMC
The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) is a global centre of excellence on biodiversity, operating as a collaboration between UN Environment Programme and the charity WCMC. UNEP-WCMC works on the interface of science, policy and practice to help tackle the global nature crisis.

For more information contact us at: info@unepfi.org

Beyond ‘Business as Usual’: Biodiversity Targets and Finance

Published

US$44 trillion of economic value generation, more than half the world’s GDP, is moderately or highly dependent on nature, which is increasingly under threat. Biodiversity – the variation of species and genetics among animals, plants, fungi or microorganisms – is fundamental to economic health.

Download our report which shines a spotlight on the urgent need for financial sector action on biodiversity, and provides a pathway for banks, investors and insurers to get started. It sets out the 9 priority sectors with large financial flows and major potential dependencies or impacts on biodiversity, enabling you to gain an understanding of where the highest risks lie within your current activities to inform your target setting.

A step-by-step guide outlines approaches to target-setting on biodiversity for example a target of “no net loss” or “net gain” of biodiversity. This approach enables financial institutions to reduce risk exposure and create a more resilient global economy.

The report draws on the science and analyses of the online ENCORE tool and will be followed later this year by a ground-breaking new biodiversity module, currently under development in consultation with 27 financial institutions. Click here to download the report.

Download the executive summary in: English | Arabic | Chinese | French | Russian | Spanish

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance: Statement on the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive consultation

19 June 2020

Net-Zero Asset Owner AllianceThe UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA), representing $4.75 trillion in assets and many of Europe’s largest pension funds and insurance companies, warmly welcomes the review of the EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD).

AOA members have publicly committed at the CEO level to transitioning their investment portfolios to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To fulfil these commitments, AOA members will require standardized and comparable greenhouse gas emissions related data from corporations. The review of the NFRD provides an opportunity to address the lack of clarity and comparability of climate change related disclosures that prevails today.

AOA members, wish to draw the attention the following non-financial reporting needs to support their net zero commitments:

  • The basing of corporate climate disclosure requirements on existing frameworks and standards, with particular reference to the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the EU Taxonomy. As globally diversified investors, the development of a consistent global framework is essential to increase the transparency and comparability of corporate reporting. Thus, it is important that an EU-focused standard looks to promote a globally consistent approach. The standard should apply to all large companies as defined by the EU Accounting Directive.
  • Ensuring that reporting provides standardized and mandatory sector-specific Key Performance Indicators and forward-looking metrics. For greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions this should include: emission scope (1, 2, 3); scope 3 separated by upstream/downstream; also separated by GHG; split of emissions in estimated/measured/assured; and the degree of alignment of the company’s business model with a Paris-compliant 1.5°C scenario. Forward-looking targets covering absolute GHG emissions as well as GHG-intensities (e.g. GHG emission intensity planned in 5 and 10 years) would enable AOA members to chart their pathways and investment decisions to realize net zero commitments.
  • Consistency between EU reporting requirements and regulatory initiatives improves data comparability and reduces costs for users and preparers of climate related disclosures. Investors’ ability to assess and report climate-related issues hinges on standardised inputs from companies. Disclosure requirements for financial market participants under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) should align with the proposed revision to the NFRD. Consistency between the revised NFRD, the SFRD and the EU taxonomy regulation will ensure more comparable data and reduce costs for all market participants.
  • Climate related disclosures should be in companies annual report reporting or in mainstream financial reports for non-listed companies.  The XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is, as a freely available and global framework for exchanging business information, the recommended format to increase the transparency and accessibility of the reported information.
  • Once developed and consulted on, the proposed EU Non-Financial Reporting standard should be implemented through appropriate legislation to ensure consistent implementation across the 27 EU member states.

AOA investor members and the PRI have submitted a full response to the NFRD consultation, which provides further details on the points set out above.

About the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

The United Nations-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) is a leading group of pension funds and insurance companies committed to reducing their portfolio emissions to net zero by 2050.

As of 18 June, the 26 Alliance members include Alecta, Allianz, AMF, Aviva, AXA, CalPERS, Caisse des Dépôts, La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), the Church of England Commissioners, CNP, Danica Pension, ERAFP, Folksam Group, FRR, Generali, KENFO, MP Pension, Munich Re, Nordea Life, Munich Re, Pension Danmark, PFA, SCOR, Storebrand, SwissRe, Wespath and Zurich.

The AOA is convened by Finance Initiative of the UN Environment Programme and the Principles for Responsible Investment, with support from WWF and Mission 2020.

Denmark’s Danica Pension joins UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

18 June 2020

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Danica Pension becomes the 26th member of the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA), committing to transitioning its investment portfolio of $68 billion assets under management (AUM) to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

CEO Ole Krogh Petersen said:

“As a pension company, our more than DKK 400 billion ($60 billion) assets under management can make a huge difference for the green transformation. That is our focus already now and will be for many years to come. Having long-term ambitions is a good thing but acting in a timely manner is even more important. That is why we significantly increased our investments in the green transformation in the first quarter this year, and we are going to develop individual milestones for our carbon footprint from our investments towards 2023, 2025 and 2030.”

Becoming a member of the AOA underpins Danica Pension’s ambition to invest $4.5 billion in the green transformation by 2023, $7.5 billion by 2025 and $15.1 billion by 2030. In the first quarter alone, Danica Pension increased its investments in the green transformation by 38% from approximately $1.6 billion to approximately $2.2 billion.

Danica – the fourth Danish asset owner to join the Alliance – said that by addressing climate issues through corporate dialogue and voting at general meetings, it can, as an investor, can help, encourage or require businesses to transform their business on a scale and at a pace consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target. As businesses transition to low-carbon business models, the emissions produced in Danica Pension’s investment portfolio will also be reduced.

About the AOA

Launched in September 2019 during the UN Climate Action Summit, the AOA is an international initiative bringing together investors that are committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to carbon neutrality by 2050. The AOA’s action focuses on implementing the Paris Agreement, the main goal of which is to limit the rise in global average in temperature to 1.5°C.

Total assets under management of the 26 AOA members totals $4.75 billion.

The AOA is part of the  Race to Zero Campaign, launched on World Environment Day (5th June 2020). The UNFCCC and COP26 global campaign – under the stewardship of the UN High Level Climate Champions for the UK and Chile – will rally real economy leaders to join the largest ever coalition of leaders – from countries, businesses, cities, regions, investors, and civil society – all committed to the same overarching goal: achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.

More information: unepfi.org/net-zero-alliance

 

Managing environmental, social and governance risks in non-life insurance business

Published June 2020

As risk managers, insurers and investors, the insurance industry plays an important role in promoting economic, social and environmental sustainability—or sustainable development. With the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction in 2015, and the upcoming Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, there is growing pressure and urgency across all sectors of society to respond and find solutions to sustainability challenges the world is facing.

Environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues—also known as sustainability issues pose a shared risk to insurers, communities, businesses, cities, governments and society at large, providing a strong incentive for innovation and collaboration. Some ESG issues have varying implications, with some increasingly being recognised to be potentially financially material (e.g. climate change, ecosystem degradation, pollution).

This document is a result of a multi-year PSI initiative to develop the first global guide to manage ESG risks in risk assessment and insurance underwriting. It has an initial focus on non-life insurance business—also known as property and casualty insurance business.

The aims of this guide are to:

1. Provide optional guidance to insurance industry participants in developing approaches to assess ESG risks in non-life insurance business transactions, particularly industrial and commercial insurance business

2. Support clients, intermediaries and other stakeholders in facilitating ESG-related information which might be required during the ESG due diligence of transactions

3. Highlight the materiality of ESG risks to various lines of business and economic sectors, including characteristics which might affect the ability to assess and mitigate such risks

4. Address growing concerns by stakeholders across society (e.g. NGOs, investors, governments) on ESG risks and articulate the peculiarities of the insurance business

5. Demonstrate the valuable role the insurance industry plays in the global economy and society, and strengthen the industry’s contribution to sustainable development

ESG risks can vary by country or region, line of business, type of cover, economic sectors, client characteristics, over time, and due to other factors. The guide helps draw attention to this complex range of considerations and how some industry participants are going about their integration of ESG risk factors into non-life risk assessment and underwriting.

Download the guide here

Diálogos sobre Taxonomía de Finanzas Sostenibles en America Latina y el Caribe

23 June 2020 | Webinar

Los objetivos del webinar son:
– Tener una visión ampliada sobre las taxonomías de finanzas sostenibles en el mundo;
– Conocer la Taxonomía de la Unión Europea
– Presentar un caso latinoamericano que está en desarrollo: Colombia
– Discutir los impactos para América Latina y Caribe

Click here to watch the video recording.

Abertura: Jose Dallo, responsable por el escritorio del Cono-Sur de UNEP

Moderadora: Maria Eugenia Sosa Taborda, coordinadora regional de UNEP FI para América Latina y el Caribe

Panelistas:
-Marcela Ponce, responsable regional de financiamiento climático para Latinoamérica y el Caribe y coordinadora de la Red de Banca Sostenible del IFC
– Helena Viñes Fiestas, miembro del grupo de expertos sobre la Taxonomía de la Comisión Europa y directora adjunta de sostenibilidad de BNP Paribas Asset Managment
– Mariana Escobar Uribe, responsable del grupo de trabajo sobre finanzas sostenibles de la Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance adds Denmark’s MP Pension

4 June 2020

Net-Zero Asset Owner AllianceThe UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) has more than doubled its membership since its September 2019 launch to 25, with Denmark’s MP Pension announcing its membership today, World Environment Day.

MP Pension, with assets under management (AUM) of $18.7 billion, brings the AOA’s total AUM to nearly $4.7 trillion.

Jens Munch Holst, CEO at MP Pension, said:

“As investors, we need to play our part in making sure the economy recovers from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in a more sustainable way. It is key that we invest decisively in cleaner technologies and ask businesses and governments to do their part in breaking the curve on global warming and move to carbon neutrality. We look forward to sharing experiences and joining forces with like-minded investors to this end.”

MP Pension, the third Danish asset owner to join the Alliance, manages the pensions for Danes who hold MAs, MScs and PhDs, and who are employed in the public sector at universities and upper secondary schools. It has more than 138,000 members, who own the fund. There are no shareholders and any profits are eventually returned to the members.

MP is a signatory of the Principles for Responsible Investment, UN Global Compact and is active in Climate Action 100+, co-leading the dialogue with A.P. Møller-Mærsk Group.

Launched in September 2019 during the UN Climate Action Summit, the AOA  is an international initiative bringing together investors that are committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to carbon neutrality by 2050. The AOA’s action focuses on implementing the Paris Agreement, the main goal of which is to limit the rise in global average in temperature to 1.5°C.

The AOA is part of the  Race to Zero Campaign, launching today, World Environment Day. The UNFCCC and COP26 global  campaign – under the stewardship of the UN High Level Climate Champions for the UK and Chile – will rally ‘real economy’ leaders to join the largest ever coalition of leaders – from countries, businesses, cities, regions, investors, and civil society – all committed to the same overarching goal: achieving net zero emissions by 2050 at the very latest.

Read more about the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Read more about MP Pension

Webinar sobre “Finanzas Sostenibles, El Futuro de la Economía”

16 June 2020 | Webinar

El sistema financiero es un gran movilizador de recursos económicos, cuyas decisiones pueden influir en la transición de la economía global hacia el desarrollo sostenible.

El concepto de finanzas sostenibles se refiere a la manera en que los actores del sistema financiero incorporan las variables Ambientales, Sociales y de Gobierno (ASG) en su operación y toma de decisiones, constituyendo para el ecosistema de inversión, crédito y seguros un mecanismo para anticiparse a las exigencias del entorno, minimizar riesgos e identificar oportunidades.

Para revisar este tema, la Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (CCS) y UNEP FI organizan un webinar sobre “”Finanzas Sostenibles, El Futuro de la Economía” a realizarse el 16 de junio a las 9h de Chile, y se contará con la participación de Carolina López, Representante de UNEP FI en Chile; Trinidad Lecaros, Asesora de Finanzas Verdes del Ministerio de Hacienda de Chile; y Jeannette von Woldersdorff, Directora Ejecutiva del Observatorio Fiscal de Chile. En este encuentro se oficializará el compromiso de la Cámara de Comercio de Santiago (CCS) como Institución de Apoyo de UNEP FI.

Presentaciones:

Organizadores:

Contacto:

carolina.lopez@un.org

BLOG: After the Pandemic, what are the Opportunities and Challenges for the Circular Economy?

3 June 2020

There is growing momentum to ensure the recovery from the global pandemic shifts the economy to a more sustainable model and enables the transition to a circular economy post-2020. In their blog, Jan Raes, a circular economy finance expert who drafted our study Demystifying Circular Economy Finance, supported by Aliyorbek Muminov in UNEP FI’s Secretariat, ask what the circular economy will look like for business after the pandemic. UNEP FI members are invited to take part in a consultation on the draft study, to be published during UNEP FI’s first virtual Global Roundtable on 13-14 October 2020.

 

What does the circular economy look like for businesses after the pandemic?

There is active discussion and speculation about winners and losers during the recovery phase of the global pandemic. While the concerns are gradually shifting from the health-related response to the economic implications, the jury is out on readiness for a circular economy. How will the sudden disruption in supply chains, changed social interactions and reduced consumer spending affect circular economy related behaviours like sharing, recovery of materials, reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and resource efficiency? Will the circular economy suffer or prosper from the post pandemic recovery? We cover six opportunities and challenges in relation to the growth of a circular economy:

  1. The sharing economy: the post-pandemic fear of the second-hand. The sharing economy is recognised as a business model under various circular economy classification schemes for the finance sector. The sharing economy upsets conventional financial services (e.g. insurance coverage policies and loans) due to a change in the relationship between user and owner of the shared asset. For financial institutions, the sharing economy introduces new income flows and collateral agreements, but also new risks due to shared use of assets amongst a multitude of parties. As analysed before the pandemic, the sharing economy offers tremendous opportunity due to the projected growth of sharing services to above USD 300 billion on an annual basis by 2025. Given the highly transmissible nature of COVID-19, there is the so-called “fear of the second-hand” at play for these services. A heightened fear of a disease vector can hurt sharing business models like home, apparel, equipment, ride, car, bike and scooter sharing. The providers will thus have to reassure customers that their shared assets are clean and hygienic upon delivery. This will impose extra transaction cost to sharing business models that thrive on shared physical assets;

 

  1. Potential increase of product-as-a-service. The aftermath of the lockdown measures also brings opportunity. The ongoing switch from store-based product to online sales could break ground for product-as-a-service (PAAS). The pandemic has increased consumer demand for services. The growth in the number of users of platforms for food delivery, grocery delivery, entertainment and any form of non-contact based e-commerce, could stimulate the faster adoption of products offered as a service during the economic recovery phase. PAAS offerings are far from a silver bullet, but they offer space for incumbents. The restructuring of traditional product offerings (ranging from camper vans to washing machines to mobility options) along the lines of PAAS offerings has the potential of delivering the same service to a large consumer base at a lower cost, with fewer resources. For the circular economy the important aspect is that fewer resources are in play with the potential of a higher degree of refurbishment, reuse and recycling during and at the end of the lifetime of the goods;

 

  1. Shift in waste volumes, waste collection and waste treatment during crisis. The volume of contaminated medical protective gear has increased tremendously across the globe. This waste is destroyed by incineration due to the concerns of contamination with the virus. The increased success of food delivery and e-commerce platforms unfortunately increases packaging waste. As a result of the stay-at-home orders, consumption is down and many local governments have altered their waste collection schedules. Less waste has entered collection systems for reuse and recycling. These logistical disruptions in waste or resource collection cause downstream supply and demand losses and mismatches. Buyers of raw materials in manufacturing can decide to abandon sustainability measures, lured in by the low price of freshly extracted materials. With less secondary materials on offer, the gap in price between virgin and secondary materials is expected to widen. Collection and deposit schemes generally make consumption less wasteful. The speed at which collection of waste returns to normal, will be crucial as reduced collection rates undermine the ground work for further expansion of the circular economy;

 

  1. Onshoring to areas where waste management policies are stricter. The effects of the lockdown and the lingering uncertainty over longer international distribution channels will make companies automatically focus on shorter supply chains and where possible they will onshore production to be closer to consumers. This onshoring will force companies to redesign their logistics and reverse logistics in light of extended producer responsibility laws and more stringent waste management policies. These laws might be absent or badly policed in the developing countries where they generally manufacture. Re-engineering supply chains could accelerate the shift to  a circular-economy;

 

  1. The overhaul of distribution: the locally integrated economy. In the food and agricultural sector, some farmers are losing income due to disrupted distribution channels. In livestock markets the infection of meat packaging workers has halted processing and packaging operations. While this is mostly negative in highly concentrated markets like the US, independent farmers can themselves reach out to consumers directly via shortened distribution channels. They can differentiate their offering from the mainstream linear food production systems. The Farmer to Fork (F2F) strategy is another example. This was introduced as part of the new EU food policy. F2F can also become a form of insurance policy for farmers to secure their income in the post-pandemic period. In its most positive form, this shortening of distribution channels for food could result in less food waste and production losses and more resilience of farmers, exposed to exclusive off taker contracts – a potential silver lining for the circular economy;

 

  1. Inclusive circular economy. There is no doubt that some countries will cope with the economic recovery in the wake of the global pandemic better and faster than others. If economies start “building-back-better” based on public recovery funding, glimpses of a more circular economy might emerge. Especially in a situation where, under pressure to stimulate local jobs, developed countries are rushed to accelerate the restructuring of their supply chains with onshoring of companies and employment opportunities. This also involves the rebalancing of trade and larger national stockpiles to pre-empt potential future disruption. The flipside of the coin is that many developing countries heavily rely on commodity exports. Altered post-pandemic patterns of trade, tariffs and border control could slow their economic progress, unless they move to higher value production models. Onshoring to build-back-better needs to be done with consideration of those that are at the bottom of the pyramid and potentially out-of-sight. There is a role for both the public and private sector here. If we really want to build back better, the work of government agencies and international organisations, such as the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation, remains essential to guarantee the decency and inclusiveness of policies related to working conditions. In many countries, private financial institutions will be tasked as distribution channels of recovery funding to private parties. A successful recovery will include the individuals most affected.

Please provide feedback here on UNEP FI’s draft study Demystifying Circular Economy Finance by 11pm CET on Wednesday 10 June 2020. 

 

COVID-19 updates from UN Environment Programme

The transmission of diseases, like the Novel Coronavirus COVID-19, between animals and humans (zoonoses) threatens economic development, animal and human well-being, and ecosystem integrity. The United Nations Environment Programme supports global efforts to protect biodiversity, to put an end to the illegal trade in wildlife, to safeguard the handling of chemicals and waste and to promote economic recovery plans that take nature and the climate emergency into account. Read the latest news and science from UN Environment Programme on these areas.

 

Image: Sergio Souza

Seminario Online sobre “Las Finanzas Sostenibles en América Latina: Tendencias del sector financiero formal y los avances del sector cooperativo”

5 June 2020 | Webinar

Formulario de inscripción

En el Día Mundial del Medioambiente (5 de junio), UNEP FI, la Confederación Latinoamericana de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito (COLAC), la Confederación Alemana de Cooperativas (DGRV) y WWF Paraguay unen esfuerzos y organizan este seminario online, cuyo propósito es dar a conocer los avances del  sector financiero formal latinoamericano en desarrollo sostenible, así como también saber cuál es la situación actual y las expectativas del sector cooperativo de América Latina en esta materia, del cual se espera se convierta en un actor importante.

Agenda

Sobre COLAC, DGRV y WWF Paraguay

COLAC es un organismo internacional de desarrollo cooperativo para Latinoamérica y el Caribe, sin ánimo de lucro, fundada en 1970, con sede en la ciudad de Panamá.  Es reconocida por el Estado panameño como Misión Internacional y distinguida en el Consejo Económico y Social de Naciones Unidas, como ONG en Estatus Consultivo, Categoría.  Es Institución de Apoyo de UNEP FI.

DGRV – Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e.V. (Confederación Alemana de Cooperativas) es la organización cúpula de tercer grado para el sector cooperativo de Alemania, sin ánimo de lucro.  Además de sus funciones en Alemania, apoya diversas actividades de desarrollo cooperativo a nivel mundial; estas labores de la DGRV tienen como fin contribuir al mejoramiento del desempeño de las cooperativas, fomentando así avances de las estructuras sociales y económicas.

Alianza COLAC – DGRV

COLAC y DGRV decidieron conformar la alianza “Impulso de las Finanzas Sostenibles en las Cooperativas Latinoamericanas”, cuyo objetivo es desarrollar iniciativas y realizar esfuerzos conjuntos, para impulsar y fortalecer las finanzas sostenibles dentro del sector cooperativo latinoamericano, para que este sea considerado como un actor importante para la sostenibilidad del sector financiero.

WWF Paraguay es una ONG cuyo foco principal en Paraguay incluye casi todas las prácticas definidas por la Red WWF, como la práctica relacionada a Bosques, conectando importantes bloques forestales y creando corredores de biodiversidad para recuperar los servicios ambientales que este ecosistema proporciona como unidad paisajística, enfocado en la biodiversidad, el agua, el suelo y la regulación climática. El enfoque de WWF Paraguay también incluye producción y mercado, trabajando en lo posible con entidades financieras que están acelerando el desarrollo de Paraguay y creando una demanda de commodities nunca antes vista en la historia del país. La sostenibilidad es clave en su trabajo con el sector productivo y las corporaciones en Paraguay.

Grabación del Webinar 

Presentaciones:

Organizadores:

 

 

 

 

 

Colaborador:

Contacto:

carolina.lopez@un.org

Series of webinars – Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) & relationship with ESG factors

10 June - 1 October 2020 | Webinar

Registration form

For more than a year of a coordinated work with relevant Ministries, regulators and international organizations, the Ministry of Finance of Chile, launched its inaugural Financial Strategy on Climate Change in December 2019. The Strategy is one of the country commitments under the Paris Agreement and reaffirms the country’s ambitious on climate action. It defines a framework that will guide the institutional efforts to mobilize resources needed to achieve Chile’s carbon neutrality target and NDC commitments in a responsible and orderly manner by addressing barriers and contributing to sustainable development.

In order to strengthen the public-private cooperation on green finance, the Ministry of Finance of Chile, with the support of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB), UNEP FI and the UK Embassy are delivering a series of Webinars of the Public-Private Working Group on Green Finance of Chile on “Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and relationship with ESG factors”.

The webinars will be held in English and Spanish between June and October 2020.

Recorded webinars: 

More information about the “Mesa Público-Privada de Finanzas Verdes de Chile”:
mfv.hacienda.cl/eventos

 

Colaborators:

Contact:

carolina.lopez@un.org

 

UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance reacts to European Commission’s COVID-19 recovery plan

29 May 2020

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance has reacted to European Commission’s COVID-19 recovery plan.

“As some of Europe’s largest asset owners, we welcome the European Commission’s recovery plan, which seeks to uphold the Paris Agreement and puts the EU Green Deal at the heart of the recovery planning. These plans will help lay the foundations for an inclusive and sustainable European recovery. The UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance calls on member states to work with the Commission to finalise and approve these proposals at next month’s EU council summit.”

 

Read the European Commission’s recovery plan here.

 

Find out more about the coalition of asset owners at: unepfi.org/net-zero-alliance/

 

Recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in Asia

8 June 2020 | Webinar

 

8 June 2020

14:00 ICT | 09:00 CEST (90 minutes)

Agenda

  1. Intro: Connecting COVID and climate – UNEP FI’s perspective
  2. Climate assessment programs at UNEP FI- how the pieces fit together
  3. Overview of methods and goals of the TCFD programs underway and planned
  4. Update on the China-UK TCFD program
  5. WWF on the Science Based Targets initiative
  6. Concluding discussion on the development of climate risk regulations globally

Workshop on banking and human rights for ASEAN-region banks (By invitation only)

12 June 2020 | Webinar

As part of a side event to the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights – Asia Pacific, UNEP FI organised a workshop on banking and human rights issues for ASEAN banks.

It included an overview of human rights issues related to businesses in ASEAN and how this relates to banks under both hard and soft laws; how banks in the region are tackling human rights; and a live exercise to develop an ASEAN human rights risk heatmap with the help of experts.

This introductory workshop aimed to raise awareness among ASEAN banks on:

  • How bank’s corporate clients can violate human rights and where are the hotspots? Further, how is the COVID-19 crisis changing the risk landscape?;
  • How and when as lenders could banks seen to be ‘contributing’ or event ‘directly linked’ to adverse impacts under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (soft law)?; and
  • What the soft law means for ASEAN banks when the hard law does not go as far? – What are the other factors to take into consideration?

 

12 June 2020

14:00 ICT | 09:00 CEST (90 minutes)

Agenda

  1. Welcome
    Moderator: Yuki Yasui, Asia Pacific Co-ordination Manager, UNEP FI
  2. Lightning round: Context setting – Human rights issues for business in ASEAN
    • Harpreet Kaur, Business & Human rights Specialist, Asia-Pacific Regional Centre, UNDP
    • Soo Young Hwang, UNEP
  3. Info-share: Human Rights disclosures and polices among banks
    • Ghislaine Nadaud, Head of Sustainability Asia Pacific, ABN AMRO BANK N.V.
    • Ryan Bjorkquist, Director, Standard Chartered Bank
  4. Legal analysis: Understanding the hard and soft laws in human rights for banks
    • Radu Mares, Head of Economic Globalisation and Human Rights Thematic Area
      Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights
    • Barbara Bijelic, Legal Expert, Responsible Business Conduct, OECD
  5. Live exercise: Develop an ASEAN human rights risk heatmap for banks
  6. Closing

France’s SCOR joins UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

27 May 2020

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Paris-based Tier 1 reinsurer SCOR announced today (27 May 2020) it had joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, bringing membership to 24 with combined assets under management (AUM) of over $4.6 trillion.

Launched in September 2019 during the UN Climate Action Summit, the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance (AOA) is an international initiative bringing together investors that are committed to transitioning their investment portfolios to carbon neutrality by 2050. The AOA’s action focuses on implementing the Paris Agreement, the main goal of which is to limit the rise in global average in temperature to 1.5°C.

SCOR, the fourth largest reinsurer in the world, said in a statement that it has entered a new phase in its implementation of climate and energy transition measures.

The group is accelerating its withdrawal from coal assets, by lowering the exclusion threshold for companies generating revenue from thermal coal. Having already disposed of securities from companies generating more than 30% of their revenue from coal, SCOR has now reduced this threshold to 10%.

SCOR is committed to divesting from companies generating more than 10% of their total revenue from thermal coal, and from utility companies for which coal represents more than 10% of their power production. This applies to all asset classes on SCOR’s investment portfolio. In the longer term, the SCOR aims to divest totally from companies generating part of their revenue from thermal coal, by 2030 in OECD and EU countries and by 2040 in the rest of the world. Moreover, SCOR undertakes not to invest in companies developing new coal-related projects (mines, plants, power stations or infrastructure).

Denis Kessler, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of SCOR, said:

“SCOR is pleased to join the Alliance to promote the transition to a post-coal economy. As a Tier 1 global reinsurer, SCOR has a long-term commitment to the fight against climate change. Protecting people and property from disasters and encouraging sustainable development, particularly in a context of intensified climate risk and extreme events, are integral parts of the Group’s mission. By joining this initiative and implementing new measures to support the energy transition, SCOR is further strengthening its sustainable approach to investment, as set out in its ‘Quantum Leap’ strategic plan.”

The Alliance is actively encouraging other investors to join the commitment of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 demonstrating united investor action to align portfolios with a 1.5°C scenario.

Read more about the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance.

About SCOR

SCOR, the world’s fourth largest reinsurer, offers its clients a diversified and innovative range of solutions and services to control and manage risk. Applying the “The Art & Science of Risk”, SCOR uses its industry-recognized expertise and cutting-edge financial solutions to serve its clients and contribute to the welfare and resilience of society. The group generated premiums of more than 16 billion euros in 2019, and serves clients in more than 160 countries from its 38 offices worldwide.

 

Ensuring a Sustainable Recovery in the Asia Pacific: What Role for the Finance Sector?

11 June 2020 | Webinar

As part of the main session of the UN Virtual Forum on Responsible Business and Human Rights – Asia Pacific, UNEP FI co-organised a session on the role of the finance sector in the sustainable and inclusive recovery from COVID-19 in the Asia Pacific. The session discussed how the finance sector of Asia Pacific can support a green economic recovery that is financially inclusive and where sustainable finance trends are headed in the COVID recession.

Full forum agenda is available here.

11 June 2020

11:30 ICT | 06:30 CEST (90 minutes)

Video recording available here

Key note: Dr Ma Jun

Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme: Final Activity Report 2015-2019

Published May 2020

This report summarises the research and outreach activities carried out under the Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century programme, convened by UNEP FI and the PRI, with the generous financial support of The Generation Foundation. The final report on Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century presents the conclusions of the 4-year research and detailed analysis by country.

The programme’s reach between 2015-2019 includes:

  • Over 1’000 policy makers, investors and stakeholders engaged
  • +30 in-person events in 15 jurisdictions
  • 25 country roadmaps and related reports
  • 21 jurisdictions covered of which 6, including the EU, have effectively issued investor guidance and/or clarified investor duties in regulation to include ESG factors

The programme concluded that the fiduciary duties of investors require them to:

  • Incorporate [financially material] ESG issues into investment analysis and decision making processes, consistent with their investment time horizons [e.g. climate change]
  • Encourage high standards of ESG performance in the companies or other entities in which they invest.
  • Understand and incorporate beneficiaries’ and savers’ sustainability-related preferences, regardless of whether these preferences are financially material.
  • Support the stability and resilience of the financial system.
  • Report on how they have implemented these commitments.

The next stage of this work – the Legal Framework for Impact –  will identify barriers and pathways for impact management / outcomes integration into investment decision making processes from a legal and regulatory perspective.

Read the 2015-2019 programme’s output in the Final Activity Report here.

Read the final substantive report, Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century (2019), here.