Over 10 of the world’s leading financial centres today agreed to promote strategic action on green and sustainable finance, at the first-ever international meeting of financial centres, held in Casablanca.
Financial centres including Astana, Casablanca, Dublin, Hong Kong, Milan, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Qatar, Shanghai and Stockholm backed the Casablanca statement, agreeing to harness their expertise to drive action on climate change and sustainable development.
Said Ibrahimi, CEO, Casablanca Finance City Authority said: “The leadership and commitment displayed by financial centers gathered in Casablanca gives me confidence that we can increase capital flows to vital areas on the African continent, in sustainable agriculture and clean energy notably. Our vision is to establish Casablanca as a hub for green finance dedicated to Africa.”
Sir Roger Gifford, Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Green Finance Initiative said: “London is committed to working with other financial centres to grow the global market for green finance. This new network can help leverage the world’s capital markets in pursuit of climate change mitigation by sharing best practice and agreeing on common principles.”
Kong Wei, Convenor of the Lujiazui Financial City Green Finance Committee in Shanghai said: “Shanghai wants to rapidly and solidly expand green finance practice and is excited to work with other financial centres in the network which is creative for green finance development from early stage covering internationalization and balance simultaneously.”
Philippe Zaouati, CEO of Mirova and chair of Paris’ Finance for Tomorrow initiative, said: “The current momentum is exceptional to make finance commit to more sustainable and inclusive growth. Paris wishes to connect the expertise of its ecosystem with this new network of financial centres. There is much we can do together to shift the trillions.”
Financial centres are key locations in the economy where banking, investment and insurance markets are concentrated. This clustering of skills now needs to be focused on mobilizing the finance required to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
A growing number of financial centres have introduced dedicated green and sustainable initiatives to seize this opportunity. This year’s G7 in Italy also identified the potential for cooperation among financial centres through a new international network. By supporting the Casablanca statement, the financial centres have agreed to launch the international network of financial centres for sustainability. This network will aim to raise awareness, promote common standards, drive innovation and build the vital skills needed for the expansion of green and sustainable finance.
The meeting was hosted by the Casablanca Finance City Authority (CFCA) and the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, working in association with Italy’s Ministry of the Environment and Morocco’s presidency of the COP22 climate conference.
“Clearly financial centres compete,” said Nick Robins, Co-Director of the UN Environment Inquiry. “But cooperation on sustainable finance is not only essential, it is also very possible, as this new network shows. The network has the potential to drive a step change in sustainable finance in the year ahead.”