Climate change is referred to by leading economists as the greatest market failure in human history, with potentially disruptive implications on the social well-being, economic development, and financial stability of current and future generations: conservative estimates see unabated climate change leading to global costs equivalent to losing in-between 5 to 20% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever.

As a result, public and private decision-makers around the world are faced with the dual imperative of:

  • Significantly – and rapidly – reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, by decarbonizing the global economy, in order to prevent the mean global temperature increase from reaching dangerous levels
  • Adapting global consumption and productions patterns, lifestyles, and the underlying supply-chains, to the physical – meteorological, hydrological – impacts of climate change that are now unavoidable

The finance sector, lying at the heart of today’s global markets, faces the same challenges, but it also is presented with the vast financial opportunities associated with overhauling economies towards climate-compatibility:

  • On the one hand, new risks – recently categorized into transition-, physical, and liability-risks –  need to be understood, identified, assessed, managed, and eventually disclosed on, by institutions across financial industries.
  • On the other hand will the transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies require additional investment at an order of magnitude of at least USD 60 trillion, from now until 2050; and that investment will require financing which, in part, will have to be provided by financial institutions: USD 35 trillion to decarbonize, through renewable energy and energy efficiency, the world’s energy system; another USD 15 trillion to adapt manmade infrastructure to changing meteorological conditions; and another 2 USD trillion to reorganize global land-use is ways that meet growing demands for agricultural commodities while stopping tropical deforestation.

For financial institutions to not only weather changing risk landscapes but for them to also become determined enablers and catalysts of the climate economic transition, a number of conditions need to be met: FIs need to understand the commercial risks and opportunities implied, and know how to act on them. Legislators and regulators, including financial regulators, on the other hand, need to understand the roles, potentials, and policy-needs, of financial institutions; they also need to know how they can help steer the finance sector to become an enabler, rather than inhibitor, of the climate economic transition.

As the interface between the financial industry and world Governments, UNEP FI is uniquely positioned to help meet those conditions. Join us.

Please contact Remco (Kai) Fischer  for more information.

17 May 2022

One year on, momentum around Investor Climate Action Plans is growing

 By The Rev. Kirsten Spalding (Ceres) Chair and Rahnuma Chowdhury (UNEP FI) Manager for the Investor Agenda ICAPs Working Group The latest warnings from the world’s leading scientists urge us to take swift action if we have any chance to prevent the worst effects of the climate crisis. Notably, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change…

14 June 2022 | Webinar

Net zero high level dialogue for Asia Pacific banks

The Net Zero High-level Dialogue provides an opportunity for leaders to discuss how to prepare their banks for the transition to a decarbonized economy and explore the enablers to set robust climate targets and identify climate financing opportunities.

5 May 2022

Dates for the UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2022 announced

UNEP FI’s 17th Global Roundtable (GRT), a major global agenda-setting event on sustainable finance, will take place virtually on 10-14 October 2022. Held under the theme of “Transforming Finance, Accelerating Change”, this online event will bring together decision-makers, experts and thought leaders on a virtual event platform to help shape approaches to integrating sustainability across…

14 April 2022

7 major developments in the climate tool marketplace

As the financial sector has turned its attention to climate change, the demand for climate tools and analytics has skyrocketed. A robust marketplace of tool providers has developed to support these institutions, with new solutions, data, and methodologies appearing almost daily. The rapidity of development can feel overwhelming, but financial actors can become more informed consumers of climate tools by understanding the current and emerging trends.

13 April 2022

40% of emissions come from real estate; Here’s how the sector can decarbonize

From rising sea levels that sweep away coastal properties to heatwaves that cause energy bills to spike, real estate assets face a diverse set of threats from climate change. However, while these physical risks from climate change are often well known to real estate investors, less appreciated are the challenges presented by the low-carbon transition. Nearly 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions come from the real estate sector.

8 April 2022

Escalating energy security crisis underscores imperative for accelerated net-zero transition

A statement from the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance: As countries face critical choices in their energy strategies, amid heightened geopolitical tension and a rapidly warming climate, governments must ensure that energy security policies are compatible with net-zero scenarios mapped out by the International Energy Agency (IEA) or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).…

7 April 2022

“Change rules of the game,” asks $10.4trn Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance in new paper on investor action

The UN-Convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance releases a high-level paper outlining a forward-looking, systematic stewardship approach for investors that seeks to mitigate the existential risk of climate change. This stewardship approach focuses on how investors can leverage multiple tools of engagement to support changes to economic realities that align with a transition to a 1.5C…

6 April 2022

Hear from lead authors of the IPCC report on climate change mitigation

At the launch of the latest IPCC report, UN Secretary General António Guterres warned that a 3.2C rise in global temperatures would see our planet hit by “unprecedented heatwaves, terrifying storms, and widespread water shortages.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Working Group III Contribution to the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report emphasises that while we have…

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14 June 2022 | Webinar

Net zero high level dialogue for Asia Pacific banks

The Net Zero High-level Dialogue provides an opportunity for leaders to discuss how to prepare their banks for the transition to a decarbonized economy and explore the enablers to set robust climate targets and identify climate financing opportunities.

4 May 2022 | Webinar

Insuring the net-zero transition: Evolving thinking and practices

Join this webinar to find out about a new paper produced by the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA) to demystify, shape and advance net-zero insurance thinking and practices. It forms part of the Alliance's engagement strategy and looks at potential insurance underwriting approaches to net zero, key challenges and next steps.

31 March 2022 | Webinar

Understanding Climate Risk Tools: New TCFD reports

As climate risk has become an issue of regulatory and strategic importance, a range of tools and methodologies for assessment have been developed. On March 31st, UNEP FI is releasing two reports that will help the financial sector adopt and apply climate risk tools to their portfolios.

24 February - 31 December 2022 | Webinar

Climate Risk Engagement Series 2022 for banks: with Deloitte Malaysia

In collaboration with Deloitte Malaysia, UNEP FI brings you a series of events focused on enhancing the talent and capabilities of the Malaysian banking industry. The series aims to better prepare participants to respond to growing stakeholder expectations and regulatory requirements related to climate change.

3 February 2022 | Webinar

Leading in sustainable finance: client engagement and risk frameworks

In partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), UNEP FI’s TCFD Programme has released two new reports designed to help financial actors manage climate risks and support client transitions to net-zero. This launch event will cover the key takeaways from the recently released reports.

22 February 2022 | Webinar

Climate-aligned investing in Africa: risk management & portfolio alignment

This event is the first in a series on Climate-aligned investing in Africa run by UNEP FI. A first step towards adaptation to future climate change is reducing vulnerability and exposure to present climate variability. Significant co-benefits, synergies and trade-offs exist between mitigation and adaptation and among different adaptation responses across sectors.

14 February 2022 | Webinar

UNEP FI’s TCFD Programmes: upcoming working groups and initiatives on climate risk

Since 2017, UNEP FI has run a series of pilot programs to assist financial institutions in implementing the TCFD framework and issuing meaningful climate disclosures with over 100 financial institutions. This session is an opportunity for firms to learn about upcoming working groups and regional initiatives on climate risk.

3 February 2022 | Webinar

Leading in sustainable finance: client engagement and risk frameworks

In partnership with the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL), UNEP FI’s TCFD Programme has released two new reports designed to help financial actors manage climate risks and support client transitions to net-zero. This launch event will cover the key takeaways from the recently released reports.

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Economic Impacts of Climate Change: Exploring short-term climate-related shocks with macroeconomic models

This report features new climate-driven macroeconomic shock scenarios developed with UK-based National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) as part of UNEP FI’s Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Programme. It provides an in-depth analysis of the economic impacts of these scenarios for financial institutions and recommendations for using short-term scenarios.

One Earth Climate Model: Sectoral Pathways to Net-Zero Emissions

Commissioned by the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance and the European Climate Foundation, the One Earth Climate Model (OECM) provides a much-needed roadmap for sectoral decarbonization. By clearly defining scope 3 emissions, while avoiding double-counting, the model and the latest results offer detailed and standardised net-zero pathways for 12 industry sectors. This ground-breaking research, led…

Insuring the net-zero transition: Evolving thinking and practices

This primer aims at demystifying, shaping and advancing net-zero insurance thinking and practices. It has been produced by the UN-convened and member-led Net-Zero Insurance Alliance and looks at potential insurance underwriting approaches to net zero, key challenges and next steps.

Foundations of Climate Mitigation Target Setting

As controllers and facilitators of capital, banks can be at the core of the systemic change needed to help decarbonise the economy to achieve a 1.5 degree temperature outcome. But leading this change requires banks to set and achieve ambitious, robust, and science-based targets – get started with the Foundations of Climate Mitigation Target Setting.

Managing Transition Risk in Real Estate: Aligning to the Paris Climate Accord

Real estate faces significant transition risks as economies decarbonize. To mitigate the impact of potential transition risks, financial institutions active in this sector must be proactive. This report assesses the state of real estate assets and the challenges it faces to align to net zero. It provides insights on the climate challenges confronting the real estate sector, and recommendations for addressing them.

The Climate Risk Tool Landscape: 2022 supplement

The financial sector has a central role to play in assessing and managing climate-related risks. To do so, many financial institutions are working with third party providers to obtain the climate skills, information, and outputs they require. This report gives financial institutions insights into the process, challenges, and outputs related to using selected climate risk tools.

Target Setting Protocol Second Edition

Aligned with the very latest IPCC SR15​ no/low overshoot pathways, the Protocol is intended to guide the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance’s members in setting more ambitious climate targets. The updates to the Protocol include: • Expansion of asset classes (target setting on infrastructure) • More ambitious reduction range for sub-portfolio targets • Doubling high-emission sector…

Leadership strategies for client engagement: Advancing climate-related assessments

This report is designed to support the financial sector to improve assessment and interactions with clients in line with net zero plans. It has been created as part of the UNEP FI TCFD programme and builds on the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership’s Banking Environment Initiative Let’s Discuss Climate: the essential guide to bank-client engagement.

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