Digital library on sustainable finance

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TITLE Harnessing the Power of Digital Finance for Sustainable Financial Markets. Green fintech action plan: 16 proposals for the Swiss financial centre
AUTHOR Green Fintech Network
PUBLISHED Apr 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The action plan sets out 16 concrete proposals for a future-proof combination of digital technology and a sustainable financial sector in Switzerland.

The action plan was produced through the Green Fintech Network, a network of start-ups and experts in green fintech set up with the assistance of the State Secretariat for International Finance (SIF). The proposed actions range from setting up a platform for sustainability data to the launch of an innovation challenge for green fintech start-ups, to the promotion of open finance and the expansion of funding options for green fintechs. The actions aim to act as concrete incentives for authorities, associations, and the scientific and business communities to drive forward promising innovative solutions.

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TITLE Final Report. Advice on Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation
AUTHOR European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA)
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This final report covers the information to be provided by non-financial undertakings and asset managers to comply with their disclosure obligations under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive (NFRD).

The recommendations define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) disclosing how, and to what extent, the activities of businesses that fall within the scope of the NFRD qualify as environmentally sustainable under the Taxonomy Regulation. The key recommendations relate to the definitions to be used by non-financial undertakings for the calculation of the turnover KPI, the CapEx KPI and the OpEx KPI, and the KPI that asset managers should disclose.

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TITLE Turning the Tide: How to Finance a Sustainable Ocean Recovery
AUTHOR UN Environment Programme’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative (UNEP FI SBE)
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This seminal guidance is a market-first practical toolkit for financial institutions to pivot their activities towards financing a sustainable blue economy.

Designed for banks, insurers and investors, the guidance outlines how to avoid and mitigate environmental and social risks and impacts, as well as highlighting opportunities, when providing capital to companies or projects within the blue economy. Five key ocean sectors are explored, chosen for their established connection with private finance: seafood, shipping, ports, coastal and marine tourism and marine renewable energy, notably offshore wind.




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TITLE Cheap Talk and Cherry-Picking: What ClimateBert has to say on Corporate Climate Risk Disclosures
AUTHOR Julia Anna Bingler, Mathias Kraus and Markus Leippold
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

Disclosure of climate-related financial risks greatly helps investors assess companies’ prepared-ness for climate change. Voluntary disclosures such as those based on the recommendations ofthe Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) are being hailed as an effective measure for better climate risk management.

The authors of this paper ask whether this expectation is justified. With the help of a deep neural language model, they come to the conclusion that the firms’ TCFD support is mostly cheap talk and that firms cherry-pick to report primarily non-material climate risk information. From the analysis, the authors conclude that the only way out of this dilemma is to turn voluntary reporting into regulatory disclosures

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TITLE Corporate Climate Responsibility — The Rise of a New Governance Issue
AUTHOR Rolf H. Weber & Andreas Hösli
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

In the absence of a comprehensive regulatory framework, international recommendations and best practices on corporate responsibility in the area of climate change are emerging. Due to their financial materiality, climate change risks have recently gained widespread recognition by international organizations and financial regulators. Accordingly, sound corporate governance requires companies to have regard to climate change issues. The authors of this report propose the term ‘Corporate Climate Responsibility’ to frame various trends in legal doctrine and market developments.

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TITLE Adapting central bank operations to a hotter world. Reviewing some options
AUTHOR Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS)
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report assesses 9 options available to central banks to factor climate-related risks into their operational framework.

For the report, practitioners from the central bank community reviewed collateral and counterparty policies, asset purchases and credit operations with a view to offering a menu of options for climate-related adjustments in more concrete terms. The analysis showcasespossible changes to three of the most important policy fields for central bank: credit operations, collateral policies, and asset purchases. The review concentrates on potential measures on the asset side of a central bank’s balance sheet.

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TITLE The Green Central Banking Scorecard. How Green Are G20 Central Banks And Financial Supervisors?
AUTHOR Positive Money
PUBLISHED Mar 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report reviews the full range of policies and initiatives that an ideal green central bank would adopt across four categories: Research and Advocacy, Monetary Policy, Financial Policy, and Leading by Example. Based on this literature review, expert consultation, and bilateraliinteractions with central bankers and supervisors, it develops a system to score and rank G20 countries on the green policies and initiatives of their monetary and prudential authorities.

The results, displayed as a ‘scorecard’, show that actions are failing to match up with words, as the vast majority of countries score full marks in Research and Advocacy while performing poorly across the other three categories.

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TITLE Gender & Climate Investment: A strategy for unlocking a sustainable future
AUTHOR GenderSmart
PUBLISHED Feb 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

While sustainable investing is no longer a new kid on the block, investment strategies that take an integrated gender and climate lens to investment decisions are still relatively new. This report highlights five foundational reasons for gender and climate investing. It showcases how this can be applied through three deep-dive sectoral analyses in energy, agriculture and infrastructure.

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TITLE Study on sustainability-related ratings, data and research
AUTHOR European Commission
PUBLISHED Feb 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This study describes the state of the play of the sustainability-related products and services market in Europe; establishes an inventory and classification of market actors, sustainability products and services available in the market; and analyses the use and quality of sustainability-related products and services by market participants.

The study explores how the reliability and quality of assessment of sustainability-related data, ratings and research by third party providers can be enhanced and provides recommendations to stimulate demand and improve the quality of supply. The research is based on a combination of desk research and stakeholder engagement with various actors across the value chain.

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TITLE Final Report on draft Regulatory Technical Standard
AUTHOR Joint Committee of European Supervisory Authorities (ESAs)
PUBLISHED Feb 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

The Joint Committee of the three European Supervisory Authorities (EBA, EIOPA and ESMA – ESAs) published its final report on the content, methodologies and presentation of disclosures under the EU Regulation on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector (SFDR). The report also covers the the draft Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), which aim to strengthen protection for end-investors by improving Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) disclosures to end-investors on the principal adverse impacts of investment decisions and on the sustainability features of a wide range of financial products.

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TITLE Pathways to Paris: A practical guide to climate transition scenarios for financial professionals
AUTHOR UNEP FI & CICERO
PUBLISHED Feb 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This guide explains how to understand and apply climate scenarios in a financial risk context. It also provides a series of recommendations for enhancing the development and application of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) by financial institutions based on perspectives of participating banks that used UNEP FI’s transition risk methodology. This paper also contains case studies from participating banks that capture their experiences using climate scenarios.

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TITLE Pensionskassen auf fossilem Crashkurs. Klimabedingt droht Rentenverlust bis zu 32 Prozent
AUTHOR Sandro Leuenberger & Christian Lüthi (Klima-Allianz)
PUBLISHED Feb 2021
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

Dieser Report der Klima-Allianz zeigt auf, dass wenn Pensionskassen ihre Investitionen nicht aus fossilen Energien und Industrien mit grossem CO2-Ausstoss zurückziehen, ein Rentenkollaps droht. Die Autoren legen dar, dass Schweizer Pensionskassen im Durchschnitt mit einem Verlust 10% auf ihrem Vermögen innert 15 Jahren rechnen müssen. Dies unter der Annahme, dass die bisherige laxe weltweite Klimapolitik («Business as usual») fortgesetzt wird. Die Klima-Allianz stützt sich für diese Studie auf den Untersuchungsansatz der G20.

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TITLE Impact investments: a call for (re)orientation
AUTHOR Timo Busch, Peter Bruce-Clark, Jeroen Derwall, Robert Eccles, Tessa Hebb, Andreas Hoepner, Christian Klein, Philipp Krueger, Falko Paetzold, Bert Scholtens & Olaf Weber
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This academic article offers an examination of the different different terms used to describe investments in the sustainability context, particularly  of the impact investment terminology and its different definition. 

To offer (re-)orientation from an academic perspective, the authors derive a new typology of sustainable investments. This typology delivers a precise definition of what impact investments are and what they should cover and proposes distinguishing between impact-aligned investments and impact-generating investments. Based on these insights, the authors hope to lay the foundation for future research and debates in the field of impact investing by practitioners, policymakers, and academics alike.

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TITLE Impact Investing Decision-making: Insights on Financial Performance
AUTHOR Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report explores the increasing sophistication with which impact investors are approaching decision-making and provides insights into financial performance. Specifically, it finds that impact investing is showing signs of maturing, with investors exercising a multi-dimensional approach to their decision-making to achieve satisfactory financial and impact performance in line with their goals.

Drawing on data from six of the industry’s existing financial performance studies, the report also offers a synthesis of impact investment financial performance and additionally analyzes the GIIN’s 2020 Annual Impact Investor Survey responses of 161 impact investors seeking risk-adjusted, market-rate returns.

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TITLE Taking action on climate risk: improving governance and reporting by occupational pension schemes
AUTHOR United Kingdom Department of Work and Pension
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This policy consultation response and Consultation on regulations lays out the UK government's plans to require pension schemes to disclose their carbon footprint and governance structure, and undertake detailed climate scenario analysis.

It sets out the government's proposals to require pension funds will to commence climate reporting in line with recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) from 2021. Initially, the obligations will only apply to schemes with more than £5bn in assets, but the threshold will fall to £1bn from October 2022. Under the current plans, pension scheme trustees will be required to carry out detailed scenario analysis, exploring the effects and implications of various climate scenarios such as a rise in global temperatures or the introduction of a high carbon price. The analysis must include at least two scenarios involving an increase in the global average temperature, one of which must be between 1.5°C and 2°C.

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TITLE Shifting Gears II. Financial centres set the stage for sustainable finance’s exponential growth in the next decade
AUTHOR Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S)
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report presents the findings from an in-depth assessment of actions in 24 financialhubs, all members of the UN-convened International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe. The FC4S assessment framework allows for an effective evaluation of each financial centre’s alignment with the Paris Agreement and the UNSDGs, for the identification of areas which require further work, and for the development of strategic advice for each one of them to apply, considering current best practices.

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TITLE Insuring the climate transition. Enhancing the insurance industry’s assessment of climate change futures
AUTHOR UNEP Finance Initiative & Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report outlines state-of-the-art approaches—particularly the use of climate change scenarios—to better assess climate-related physical, transition and litigation risks in the insurance business. It captures the key findings of the project of UN Environment Programme’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance Initiative to pilot the TCFD recommendations, which was collaborative effort by 22 insurance companies representing over 10% of world premium volume and USD 6 trillion in assets under management.

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TITLE Rising Tide: Mapping Ocean Finance for a New Decade
AUTHOR UN Environment Programme’s Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Initiative (UNEP FI SBE)
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report maps the current state of ocean finance revealing trends in lending, underwriting and investment activities which impact the ocean. Moreover, it outlines the frameworks and financial instruments that are successfully addressing ocean sustainability and highlights new opportunities and gaps in the market. It looks across five major ocean-linked sectors chosen for their established connection with private finance: seafood, ports, shipping, coastal and marine tourism and marine renewable energy.

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TITLE Welche transformativen Wirkungen können nachhaltige Geldanlagen durch Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher haben?
AUTHOR Marco Wilkens & Christian Klein
PUBLISHED Jan 2021
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

Dieses Gutachten im Auftrag des vzbv argumentiert, dass nachhaltig beworbene Geldanlagen nicht automatisch zu mehr Nachhaltigkeit führen. Zwar können nachhaltige Geldanlagen durchaus eine positive Wirkung entfalten, wahrscheinlicher sind dabei allerdngs indirekte Effekte, zum Beispiel, wenn Verbraucher über eine Geldanlage für das Thema Nachhaltigkeit sensibilisiert werden. Direkte Effekte über den Kapitalmarkt sind möglich, aktuell aber kaum nachweisbar. Prinzipiell können sie über einen Verzicht auf Rendite durch Verbraucher erreicht werden, zum Beispiel, wenn in Folge der Geldanlage in bisher nicht rentable regenerative Energien investiert wird. Angebote der Finanzindustrie, die mit einem direkten Beitrag ihrer Anlageprodukte zu bestimmten Nachhaltigkeitszielen werben, und zugleich marktübliche Renditen versprechen, müssten demnach kritisch hinterfragt werden.

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TITLE Global Outlook on Financing for Sustainable Development 2021. A New Way to Invest for People and Planet
AUTHOR OECD
PUBLISHED Dec 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This report lays out a call to collective action to address both the short-term collapse in resources of developing countries as well as long-term strategies to build back better following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report highlights the need to enhance the quality of financing through better incentives, accountability and transparency mechanisms, integrating the long-term risks of climate change, global health, and other non-financial factors into investment decisions. The report concludes with a plan of action for all actors to work jointly to reduce market failures in the global financial system and to seize opportunities to align financing in support of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.

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TITLE Climate Financial Risks: Assessing Convergence, Exploring Diversity
AUTHOR Julia Anna Bingler, Chiara Colesanti Senni & Pierre Monnin (Council on Economic Policies)
PUBLISHED Dec 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This discussion paper is an analysis of the convergence and divergence of various climate risk analysis method results, based on a sample of 300 firms.

A rapidly growing number of market participants and financial authorities are exploring which metrics to use to capture climate risks, and to what extent the use of different metrics delivers heterogeneous results. This discussion note takes a first step in analyzing the convergence in assessments of climate-related transition risks across metrics providers, based on the ECB corporate bond portfolio. The findings show that firms’ risk assessments across metrics are fairly heterogeneous but tend to converge on which firms are most and least exposed to transition risks.

 

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Comparing_climate_risk_metrics_EN (pdf 542.2 kB)
TITLE Protect nature, protect the economy. How the financial sector can safeguard biodiversity
AUTHOR Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum (OMFIF) Sustainable Policy Institute
PUBLISHED Dec 2020
LANGUAGES EN 
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Summary

This review report provides a comprehensive overview of sustainable finance news, reports on sustainable finance and biodiversity, events and other related developments in 2020. It also includes contributions by a variety of practitioners that provide their view on biodiversity and the financial sector.

The report argues for the interconnectedness between the environment and the economy. It puts forward that it is misguided to view economic decisions as a series of independent trade-offs and sets out that Covid-19 has sharpened awareness of the interrelation of non-financial risks and their potential to cascade through economic and financial systems to sectors previously considered relatively safe.

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TITLE Bridging the Gap. Measuring Progress on the Climate Goal Alignment and Climate Actions of Swiss Financial Institutions
AUTHOR 2° Investing Initiative (2DII) & Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) & Wüest Partner
PUBLISHED Nov 2020
LANGUAGES DE  FR  EN 
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Summary

This study presents the results of the 2020 PACTA climate test of financial institutions.

It assesses the alignment of the Swiss financial sector with climate benchmarks, using 2DII’s Paris Agreement Capital Transition Assessment (PACTA) methodology. For the first time, 2DII and its partners measured progress across a vast swathe of the financial sector over the past three years, shedding light on the distinction between portfolio reallocation and real-world emissions reductions. Critically, the assessment shows that the Swiss financial sector’s consideration of climate issues has increased demonstrably since the 2017 study.

The full study is available in EN, a summary can be downloaded in German and French.

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DEF_DE_Zusammenfassung_PACTA 2020_05.11.2020 (pdf 8.0 MB)
DEF_FR_Résumé_PACTA 2020_05.11.2020 (pdf 2.7 MB)
DEF_Bridging_the_Gap_PACTA_2020_Switzerland_november_2020 (pdf 12.3 MB)
TITLE SFI Roundup: Finance and the Green Transition
AUTHOR Swiss Finance Institute
PUBLISHED Nov 2020
LANGUAGES DE  FR  IT  EN 
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Summary

This SFI Roundup provides evidence-based perspectives on the opportunities and risks which lie ahead in the transition to a green economy, as well as how the financial sector, governments, central banks, firms, and consumers can all contribute to solve the climate puzzle. It includes academic as well as practitioners' insights, including contributions from Swiss Sustainable Finance CEO, Sabine Döbeli.

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TITLE IFZ Sustainable Investments Studie 2020
AUTHOR Manfred Stüttgen & Brian Mattmann (Luzerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts)
PUBLISHED Nov 2020
LANGUAGES DE 
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Summary

The "IFZ Sustainable Investments Study 2020. Nachhaltige Themenfonds" conducted by the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts assesses the offering of sustainable mutual funds in the Swiss fund market for the fourth year in a row.

According to the study, the assets of sustainable mutual funds in Switzerland have risen by 60 percent to CHF 316 billion and counting 777 sustainable funds over the past year, about a forth of which are invested in thematic funds. The report contains an overview of the largest sustainable funds in Switzerland.

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