Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System
Following the UNEP / BNEF / UN Secretary General’s Office Working Group Meeting on Climate Finance held at Frankfurt School in December 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) launched an Inquiry into policy options for guiding the global financial system to invest in the transition to a green economy. The UNEP Inquiry has identified a need to accelerate the transition to a green economy by aligning the financial system to the resilience of the real economy. To achieve this, the Inquiry identified best practice and explored financial market policy and regulatory innovations and private standards (such as accounting standards and ratings) which may support the development of a green financial system. The aim of the Inquiry was to engage, inform and guide policy-makers, financial market actors and other stakeholders through mapping current best practice and drawing together principles and frameworks and developing recommendations to advance a sustainable financial system.
The FS-UNEP Centre has been engaged to contribute to the research component “Delivering the green economy through financial policy”. This drew on the experiences of selected case study examples, cataloguing and evaluating international best practice in using financial policy and regulation to drive the green economy. The aim was to show the breadth of different policy levers to demonstrate ways in which green financial policy is already being practiced. Examples showcased in the paper included Green Banking Regulations in China; pensions and investment regulations including South Africa’s Regulation 28; securities such as ESG disclosure; insurance e.g. US NAIC; and others, such as tax incentives for green investing in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.