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.

23 September 2021

Thailand flexes financial muscle to grapple with climate crisis

It is increasingly recognized that the finance and banking sectors can have a huge influence on the economy, through the way that they decide to invest in, and fund, businesses, and in Thailand, the UN is helping the government to raise awareness of the importance of sustainable finance.

23 September 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance backs call to scale-up carbon removal from atmosphere

Geneva, 23 September 2021: Asset owners must immediately scale investment into impactful carbon management and negative emissions technologies both inside and outside of value chains, according to a new position paper from the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance. Following the recent special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Alliance recognizes that…

6 September 2021

Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials collaborates with UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance to develop standard to measure insured emissions

Urgent, ground-breaking work on insured emissions, allowing insurers to set net-zero targets for their respective underwriting portfolios. Utrecht/Geneva, 6 September 2021—The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), in collaboration with the UN-convened Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), today announced the launch of a working group comprising leading insurance and reinsurance companies to develop the first global…

19 July 2021

UNEP FI responds to the TCFD’s consultation on its proposed guidance

UNEP FI has responded to the TCFD’s consultation on its proposed guidance on climate-related metrics, targets, and transition plans and measuring portfolio alignment: technical supplement (‘PAT Supplement’) and offered some recommendations for further enhancement of the guidance.

11 July 2021

Global insurance and reinsurance leaders establish groundbreaking net-zero alliance

Geneva/Venice, 11 July 2021—As the G20 gathers in Venice for its Climate Summit, eight of the world’s leading insurers and reinsurers make a historic commitment to play their part in accelerating the transition to a net-zero emissions economy, as required by the Paris Agreement. The companies have established the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA), convened by…

6 July 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance argues for binding carbon-price corridor

Today’s global carbon-pricing landscape can and should be transformed in a matter of years and pave the way for 1.5ºC-aligned emissions regulation, according to a new discussion paper from the Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, convened by the UN. Alliance members are committed to leveraging their portfolios to rapidly reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and…

1 June 2021

UNEP FI and PRI launch joint programme to boost leadership in responsible investing

Geneva, Tuesday 1 June. The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) are today launching a joint programme that will accelerate leadership in responsible investment. The Investment Leadership Programme (ILP) will bring together groups of responsible investors to work on initiatives that are considered ambitious, but not yet…

27 May 2021

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance adds 5 new members managing $900 billion

The UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance announced the addition of five new members managing nearly one trillion US dollars of assets between them. UK-based joiners include the country’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, Phoenix Group, the country’s largest life insurer, L&G Group, and Rothesay, the UK’s largest pensions insurance specialist. Germany’s largest pension group…

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11-13 October 2021 | Online

Workshops: Climate Risks and TCFD for banks in Egypt – Phase II

UNEP FI and the Egyptian Banking Institute (EBI) have partnered to deliver a series of workshops on climate risks, opportunities, and disclosures focusing on the Egyptian Banking industry. They will explore regionally specific physical and transition risks for the Arab region.

23 September 2021 | Virtual

From Venice to Glasgow: The road to COP26 for the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance

As risk managers, re/insurers and investors, the insurance industry plays a key role in supporting the transition to a resilient net-zero emissions economy. This global virtual event will gather experts in climate as well as industry practitioners who will unpack the concept of net-zero insurance.

14-15 June 2021 | Webinar

Insurance supervisors and climate action

Co-hosted by the UN-convened SIF, UN PSI and the IAIS, this webinar will present the climate change risks and opportunities for the insurance sector and introduce the Application Paper on the Supervision of Climate-related Risks in the Insurance Sector.

21 April 2021 | Online

COP26 & The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero

Mark Carney, the UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance - in partnership with the UK COP26 Presidency and the UN Race to Zero campaign - are launching a coordinating alliance that brings together existing and new net zero finance initiatives into one sector-wide strategic forum: The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ).

20 April 2021 | BrightTalk

Climate Change Litigation and Liability Risks in Adaptation Activities & Finance

To explore adaptation finance from a litigation perspective, UNEP FI has collaborated with MinterEllison to examine how litigation may increase or reduce the barriers to adaptation finance identified in the earlier reports. The output of this collaboration, a high-level briefing paper "The Forgotten Climate-related Financial Risk: Liability Impacts on Adaptation and Adaptation Finance", will be launched at this event.

13 April 2021 | BrightTalk

Webinar: Climate Thought Leadership Series Papers 5 & 6

Join UNEP FI and EIT Climate-KIC for the launch of the 5th and 6th papers of this Thought Leadership Series: “Making Green Bonds Serve the Climate Goals" (Massamba Thioye, UNFCCC) and "Financial Stability in a Planetary Emergency: the role of regulators in a burning world" (James Vaccaro, Director of Re:Pattern, & David Barmes, Economist at Positive Money).

8-31 March 2021

Workshops: Climate Risks and TCFD for banks in Egypt and Tunisia

For banks in Egypt and Tunisia, join our series of workshops that will provide you with a better understanding of physical and transition risks as well as climate risk methodologies and tools to strengthen your bank’s resilience and help implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

16 February 2021 | Webinar

Outlook for North America Climate Policy & Impact on Sustainable Finance Agenda

As the United States rejoins Paris, what are the key areas of policy to focus on for the financial sector, how will that increase ambition on emission reduction targets. What are the key regulatory changes and key issues for sustainable finance, how to navigate the environment, assess the challenges and opportunities across sectors? Join us for a discussion on the policy landscape and other key focus areas in this climate ambition year.

18 February 2021 | Webinar

Adaptation Webinar Series: Climate Data for Physical Risk Assessments

The use of authoritative datasets and data sources is a challenge for many financial institutions. A collaboration between the Climate Data Factory and the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service is aiming to provide a climate hazards data set of reference for physical risk assessment that aligns with the recommendations of the TCFD, and that will also slign with the needs of users from the finance sector.

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Liability Risk and Adaptation Finance

UNEP FI has partnered with MinterEllison to examine the impact of litigation in adaptation finance and address some of the challenges in scaling up adaptation capital identified in the GCA Adaptation Finance Paper published in 2019. This collaboration led to the publication of “The Forgotten Climate-related Financial Risk: Liability Impacts on Adaptation and Adaptation Finance“ in April 2021.  This high-level briefing…

Aligning Finance for the Net-Zero Economy: Thought Leadership Papers 5 & 6

UNEP FI has partnered with EIT Climate-KIC to bring the Thought Leadership Series, which presents papers from some of the world’s leading thinkers to help guide the financial sector towards a sustainable future. Our aim is to inspire financial actors worldwide to move from risk to alignment, challenge current assumptions around climate alignment and develop ideas…

The Climate Risk Landscape: Mapping Climate-related Financial Risk Assessment Methodologies

The Climate Risk Landscape: Mapping Climate-related Financial Risk Assessment Methodologies provides a summary of the key developments across third party climate risk assessment providers since May 2019, including new and updated scenarios, methodological tools, key guidelines, as well as an overview of the changing regulatory landscape and potential developments into 2021. This report covers both…

Pathways to Paris: A practical guide to climate transition scenarios for financial professionals

Pathways to Paris’ is a practical guide for financial practitioners looking to understand and apply climate scenarios. Co-authored with the Center for International Climate Research (CICERO), a world-renowned research institution on climate and climate finance, the report examines the driving assumptions and sectoral coverage of the models used to produce climate scenarios, as well as…

Aligning Finance for the Net-Zero Economy: Thought Leadership Papers 3 & 4

UNEP FI is continuing its partnership with EIT Climate-KIC to bring some of the world’s leading thinkers to contribute to a series of thought leadership papers. Our aim is to inspire financial actors worldwide to move from risk to alignment, challenge current assumptions around climate alignment and develop ideas and concepts on how alignment can…

Promoting Sustainable Finance and Climate Finance in the Arab Region

This report analyses the climate change related risks countries in the Arab region are facing such as water scarcity, rising sea levels, drought, land degradation and desertification. It sheds light on the existing strategies and policies on climate adaptation and mitigation in the region, and emphasizes the importance of sustainable finance resources in transitioning to…

Collective Commitment to Climate Action: Year One in Review

The Collective Commitment to Climate Action (CCCA) is an ambitious global banking sector initiative supporting the transition to a net zero economy by 2050. It brings together a leadership group of 38 banks from across all six continents who have committed to align their portfolios with the global climate goal to limit warming to well-below…

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