The transition to sustainable finance is increasingly a high-priority business issue for firms, with global bodies and local policymakers rapidly developing initiatives to support and incentivise investment in low-carbon businesses and activities, as well as enable corporates, institutional investors, and banks to take account of climate-related risks.
This paper is intended to positively support progress towards shared sustainability objectives. It provides an overview of developments to date in major Asia Pacific jurisdictions, as well as the broader evolving international policy environment, examining practical implications for industry participants and policymakers, and calling for greater coordination at this critical early stage of defining international policy settings in relation to sustainability. It also shines light on variances in approach and emphasis within different jurisdictions and frameworks. Finally, it calls for the voice of Asia Pacific to be heard more prominently in international discourse on these critical international policy issues to boost the effectiveness.
English | 50 pages | Download
There is growing demand for better ESG disclosure across sectors.Voluntary disclosure of information on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues has been taking place for decades. However, recent years have seen increased stakeholder demand for more consistent, granular, and comprehensive disclosure of information relevant to ESG factors. This has occurred across various industries, including the financial industry. Financial institutions, investors, regulatory authorities and international institutions increasingly recognize that ESG factors can have a potentially significant impact on business value and risk, as well as systemic risk, leading to a heightened focus on ESG disclosure.
English | 5 pages | Download
As global efforts to channel more private sector investment towards sustainable development ramp up, one key barrier has been the sheer proliferation of terms referring to “sustainable investment.” In a 2019 survey, the IIF Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG) polled member firms on their views: a significant majority agreed that industry alignment around simplifying terminology and product names into a few broad categories could greatly advance the goal of scaling up sustainable finance. To help drive progress towards this goal, this short note sets out the case for simplification and proposes three such categories as a starting point for discussion: “Exclusion,” “Inclusion,” and “Impactful,” leaving “Philanthropic” as a separate category distinct from sustainable investment.
English | 5 pages | Download
Sustainable finance needs a harmonized and sound policy and regulatory framework that ensures clarity of purpose, protects consumers, supports market development, and facilitates transition in key economic sectors. Given the global nature of the climate change agenda, global leadership is essential to encourage the development of well-aligned and considered regulatory and supervisory frameworks across jurisdictions. However, signs of fragmentation around climate risk assessment are already evident — notably in the areas of prudential regulation and supervision, market and conduct regulation, taxonomy and disclosure. The aim of this IIF staff paper is to highlight examples of fragmentation that have already emerged, and to suggest ways forward that would increase international alignment.
We would urge policymakers – including the G20, global standard setters and networks such as the NGFS – to consider setting up specific and dedicated mechanisms for greater alignment.
English | 16 pages | Download