An agenda-setting event with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) took place in Sydney on 23-24 July 2018 to explore the potential for sustainable finance to shape a resilient and sustainable economy in Australia and New Zealand. The conference, supported by UNEP FI members, IAG and NAB, looked at approaches to strengthen the role of banking, insurance and investment in contributing to sustainable growth, featuring innovation and market developments across key global financial frameworks and initiatives, including UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) and the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI).

Banks, insurers and investors, representing over 300 institutions with $10 trillion in assets, used the occasion to release the Joint Statement in Support of a Sustainable Financial System for Australia and New Zealand which calls on organisations across the finance sector to support the development of Sustainable Finance Roadmaps for the two neighbouring countries.

A growing number of regions and countries globally have developed Sustainable Finance Roadmaps to increase the resilience and sustainability of their financial systems to environmental and social shocks and stresses.

Signatories to the statement have committed to convene finance, government, civil society and consumer bodies to kickstart the process to develop Sustainable Finance Roadmaps for Australia and New Zealand. Signatories include the Investor Group on Climate Change, the Principles for Responsible Investment, the Responsible Investment Association Australasia (RIAA), the UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance, and the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative.

Eric Usher, Head of UNEP FI, said: “The financial sector is providing a clear signal that national roadmaps are needed to unlock financing for sustainable development. The rise in the number of governments around the world establishing frameworks to align banking, insurance and investment with the UN Climate Change and Sustainable Development Goals is important for the global shift to an inclusive, resilient and low-carbon economy.”

Find out more, and read the statement here.

Matthew McAdam, Head of Australasia, Principles for Responsible Investment; Butch Bacani, Programme Leader, UN Environment’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative; Jacki Johnson, Group Executive People Performance & Reputation, IAG; Eric Usher, Head, UNEP FI; Simon O’Connor, CEO, Responsible Investment Association Australasia; Emma Herd, CEO, Investor Group on Climate Change
Eric Usher
Conference outcomes
Background documents