At the end of November, UNEP FI convened its Leadership Council of CEOs of banks and insurers to explore how sustainable finance can be deployed to address increasingly complex environmental, economic and social challenges. CEOs were joined by UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance Mark Carney, and UNEP Executive Director Inger Andersen chaired the meeting to focus on two priorities: reinforcing the integrity of sustainable finance and aligning private finance with the UN Sustainable Development Goals despite geopolitical challenges and economic headwinds. The discussion highlighted the importance of standardising and harmonising sustainable finance regulations across the globe to ‘level the playing field’ for financial institutions to scale solutions and combat greenwashing.
“Finance will not drive the transition fast enough unless countries close emissions gaps by building more credibility around economy-wide transition plans, carbon pricing mechanisms are developed, and capital is mobilized in the developing world […].” Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance
To support the harmonization of relevant sustainable finance regulations, UNEP FI will implement a new strategy on global policy and regulation in 2023, taking note of different regional contexts. Another priority for the upcoming year will be to help financial institutions support their clients and customers through the transition, including raising awareness of international sustainability reporting standards. Finally, UNEP FI will continue to foster an industry-wide, inclusive approach to maintain momentum in financing for sustainable development.
“Together we are trying to create a financial system fit for purpose to enable sustainable growth on a healthy planet. It has never been more important to accelerate the transformation, as the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and pollution bears down on humanity. The window for action is closing.” Inger Andersen, UN Under-Secretary-General, UNEP Executive Director and Chair of UNEP FI’s Leadership Council.
To hear more about how these financial leaders are addressing challenges as they transition their businesses to support more sustainable economic activities and learn how UNEP FI will support industry readiness for transformation, read the key takeaways from the meeting below.