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27 July 2016

Green finance in G20 agenda for the first time

A G20 meeting gathered Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on July 23-24 in Chengdu, China, and concluded on a Communiqué affirming the focus of the G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG) on green finance.

It is the first year that green finance is an integral part of the G20 agenda.

The GFSG was created thanks to the support of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) which acts as secretariat and it is co-chaired by China and the UK.

The GFSG counts more than 80 participants from all of the G20 nations, as well as invited countries and international organisations.

Thanks to four previous meetings, the GFSG has put together the G20 Green Finance Synthesis report, which demonstrates the need for developing global green finance and suggests seven voluntary options to cope with the challenges that prevent the uptake of green finance.

The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting Communiqué states: "We recognize that, in order to support environmentally sustainable growth globally, it is necessary to scale-up green financing. We welcome the G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report submitted by the Green Finance Study Group (GFSG), and welcome the voluntary options developed by the GFSG to enhance the ability of the financial system to mobilize private capital for green investment. “

“We believe that efforts could be made to provide clear strategic policy signals and frameworks, promote voluntary principles for green finance, expand learning networks for capacity building, support the development of local green bond markets, promote international collaboration to facilitate cross-border investment in green bonds, encourage and facilitate knowledge sharing on environmental and financial risks, and improve the measurement of green finance activities and their impacts."

Ma Jun, Chief Economist of the People's Bank of China, said: "Promoting the consensus of developing green finance internationally is a key objective of the G20 GFSG. The statements in the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting Communiqué demonstrate that major countries' financial leaders have realized the necessity and feasibility of developing green finance through various financial instruments, policies, and mechanisms."

Michael Sheren, co-Chair, Green Finance Study Group; Senior Advisor, Bank of England said: "The Green Finance Study Group has highlighted how important and possible it is for the private sector to work with public bodies in creating the enabling conditions to mobilize green finance."

In the last few years, China has shown interest in green finance and green credit represents 10 per cent of the balance of total loans, making the country the largest green bond market in the world.

Other countries have started green finance plans, including notably Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya and Sweden.

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