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Published in Industry on 12/03/2018

Ireland Deepens its International Links in Developing Green Finance

CNI Editor reports

Ireland is represented in a major new international partnership to drive the global growth in green finance and sustainable investment, which was launched yesterday in London. (TUES)

Sustainable Nation Ireland,  the body that promotes Ireland as hub for green finance, is part of  the Northern European Partnership for Sustainable Finance (NEPSF) which was launched at its inaugural conference at the City of London’s Guildhall.

The partnership will initially involve organisations and representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.

Other organisations that support the new partnership include the World Wildlife Fund, the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Oxford University and the European Climate Foundation.

Also included are representatives from relevant European institutions. The NESPF will be open to financial institutions, regulators, policymakers, civil society, researchers, and investor coalitions.

  • The aims of the partnership are to:
  • Accelerate innovation in Northern Europe by increasing the scale and pace at which good ideas are turned into practice
  • Inform and connect policy and regulatory developments across Northern Europe and turn them into international processes and standards
  • Identify, and support opportunities for collaboration between different green finance and sustainability players in Northern Europe.

In Northern Europe the ecosystem of institutions across the investment chain working on sustainable finance topics is vast  – from green bonds to climate aligned indices through to new analytical approaches and regulatory innovation.

Northern Europe has driven the development of sustainable finance. For example, the Bank of England has led the debate on the relationship between climate change, finance, and financial regulation; in Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden pension funds have been pioneering how to take account of climate-related risks; Norway’s global pension fund is setting norms for how sovereign wealth funds should consider climate change; and the French government is pioneering new forms of mandatory climate disclosure.

In Ireland, the Central Bank recently appointed Amundi to manage a €240 million equities portfolio. It only considered firms that adhere to the United Nations-founded flagship responsible investment programme.

Commenting on the launch of the partnership, Sustainable Nation CEO Stephen Nolan said:

“We continue to support pioneering international collaboration to drive the green finance and sustainable agenda. There are many different ways that financial institutions, regulators, and policymakers can learn from one another.

“There is a need for a vehicle to support European cooperation on sustainable finance that straddles both EU and non-EU member states. The Partnership is being created to help facilitate and encourage this cooperation.”

The NEPSF is chaired by Silvia Kreibiehl, Co-Head of the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. The Secretariat is led by Dr Ben Caldecott, Founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.