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International Geneva Geneva to host new sustainable finance network

An aerial view shows the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva

An aerial view of the Geneva's international district in 2017

(Keystone)

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has decided to establish the secretariat of its new network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) in Geneva.  The network of 17 leading financial centres, created last September, aims to accelerate green and sustainable finance. 

The FC4S networkexternal link follows work undertaken by Italy’s Ministry of Environment during Italy’s 2017 G7 presidency, which endorsed and encouraged cooperation between financial centres. The network was launched in Casablanca, Morocco, in September 2017 with a mission to “exchange experience and take common action on shared priorities to accelerate the expansion of green and sustainable finance”. 

The 17 financial centres belonging to the network are: Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hong Kong, Liechtenstein, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Stockholm, Toronto and Zurich. 

UNEP is establishing the network’s secretariat in Geneva with support from Swiss federal and cantonal authorities, as well as from private sources in Geneva. 

“This will enable the canton to reaffirm its role as international cross-roads for sustainable finance,” state councillor Pierre Maudet declared on Mondayexternal link

Green finance is defined as finance that delivers environmental benefits in the context of sustainable development. Sustainable finance looks more broadly at environmental, social and governance factors in both market practice and policy frameworks for banking, capital markets, investment and insurance to deliver the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. 

UNEP said the past year had witnessed important developments in sustainable finance. The issuance of green bonds rose to $155 billion in 2017, up from $82 billion the previous year. Leading countries and regions are also introducing sustainable finance strategies, notably China, the European Union, Italy, Morocco and Britain. Canada has just established an expert group on sustainable finance. 

ATS-SDA/sb

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