Since pledging to reduce emissions at COP 21 in Paris, the UK and China have been deeply committed to sustainable economic growth. In recognition that the financial sector has a central role to play in facilitating the transition to a low carbon future, China and the UK have been leading international efforts to green the global financial system. We formally set up the UK China Green Finance Taskforce in 2017 with focus on assessing green finance-related risks and opportunities. These efforts have ranged from ensuring climate and environmental risks are adequately factored into investment decisions, to supporting the development of new green products and services to meet burgeoning investor demand.
In China, the government continues to develop a comprehensive green finance system under the aegis of the 13th Five Year Plan. The State Council of China has announced eight cities as regional pilot programs for green finance. The China Securities Regulatory Commission has introduced mandatory environmental disclosures for listed companies by 2020. The China Fund Management Association has released Green/ESG Investment Guidelines to fund managers.
In the UK, the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority have released forward looking consultations aimed at recalibrating regulation to better capture exposure to climate and associated risk. The UK Government has recently announced it is preparing a Green Finance Strategy to be released in 2019.
To augment the forward-thinking public policies being developed in the UK and China, the UK-China Green Finance Taskforce, organised by UK Green Finance Initiative (GFI) and the Green Finance Committee (GFC) of the China Society for Finance and Banking, has been hard at work.
In our last report published in September 2017, Turning Green Momentum into Actions, the UK-China Green Finance Taskforce articulated the main challenges to scaling green finance and made recommendations to overcome them. Working groups drawing on leading investors, lenders, regulators and researchers have been advancing these recommendations. Despite many existing challenges, considerable progress has been made – many recommendations have been implemented.
This report celebrates the concrete changes achieved and sets out further actions on the path to a greener tomorrow. As a marker of our shared commitment to delivery, the GFC and GFI are partnering on the new UK-China Green Finance Centre. The Centre will provide dedicated resourcing to accelerate the delivery of shared priorities.
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