To ensure adequate preparation both for the financial sector and the corporates to implement the sustainable finance approaches, Finance Latvia has decided to endorse the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative’s (UNEP FI) Principles for Responsible Banking.
The Principles for Responsible Banking provide the much-needed framework for the sustainable finance system of the future – and enable the finance industry to demonstrate how it makes a positive contribution to society.
Association will promote the Principles of Responsible Banking within its network and will be active in public consultations. Finance Latvia will set up an Expert Group to advance the work on Sustainable Finance agenda.
The Principles for Responsible Banking is the first comprehensive global framework for integrating sustainability in all areas of banking activity and is a catalyst to continuously increase positive impact measures while reducing activities that have a negative impact on people and the environment. The Principles for Responsible Banking provide the much-needed framework for the sustainable banking system of the future – and enable the banking industry to demonstrate how it makes a positive contribution to society. Developed by 28 banks from five countries, the Principles for Responsible Banking are currently being reviewed in an open global consultation process running until 31 May 2019, prior to their official launch on September 22, 2019.
Finance Latvia is active in driving the discussion on sustainable finance in the region – and already last November in Helsinki, the Finance Latvia Association and Finance Finland in partnership with the European Commission organized an industry event “Sustainable Finance in Nordic-Baltic”. Nearly 140 public and private sector representatives from the Nordic-Baltic region and broader responsible finance and investment community were attending. The goal of the event was to foster an action-focused dialogue between industry and public sector experts, regarding EU strategy for sustainable finance, the implementation modalities and both traditional and innovative approaches to financing sustainable investments in the Nordic-Baltic region.
Finance Latvia Lending Committee on February 11 and April 1, 2019 meetings discussed and endorsed the Responsible Banking Principles. European Banking Federation (EBF) also supports this initiative and is committed to promote it in the financial services sector in Europe.
On May 7th 30 representatives from the public and the private sectors participated in the industry event “EU Sustainable Finance: Briefing by EC Technical Expert Group” co-organized by Finance Latvia and the European Commission. This was a follow-on technical discussion to the high-level industry event “Sustainable Finance in Nordic-Baltic” held in Helsinki on November 9th, 2018 by Finance Latvia Association and Finance Finland in partnership with the European Commission.
The aim of the event was to initiate awareness and dialogue on the EU sustainable financing Action Plan and regulatory proposals, to broadly inform of this legislative package and the expected entry into force. The key elements of the package are transparency and information requirements for financial institution customers (non-financial disclosure), sustainable finance classification (taxonomy), green bond standard and benchmark index for sustainability.
Presenters particularly focused on the Benchmark index and Disclosures.
Video includes key highlights from:
Recording of the industry event “EU Sustainable Finance: Briefing by Technical Expert Group” Opening. Speaker: Mārtiņš Zemītis, Economic Analyst, Europe 2020 – Economic Semester Officer, The Representation of the European Commission in Latvia.
Recording of the industry event “EU Sustainable Finance: Briefing by Technical Expert Group” presentation – the EC Action Plan on Financing Sustainable Growth, including the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance, Taxonomy and Benchmark, with focus on Benchmark.
Speaker: Prof. Andreas G. F. Hoepner, Member of the Benchmark subgroup, Ph.D., Chair in Operational Risk, Banking & Finance as well as VP EDI, Republic of Ireland, EU.
Recording of the industry event “EU Sustainable Finance: Briefing by Technical Expert Group” presentation – Green Bonds and Disclosures, with focus on Disclosures. Speaker: Marie Baumgarts, Member of the Disclosure subgroup, Head of Sustainability SEB.
The EU is committed to implementing the Paris Agreement and leading the global fight against climate change. But the public sector alone cannot move mountains. We need more private investment to scale up renewable energy, develop options for storing surplus energy, and decarbonise our economy. And we need to rethink the ways the financial system approaches sustainability, transparency, and long-term risks. This is why last spring, we put forward a 10-point Action Plan to scale up Sustainable Finance, followed by three legislative proposals.
– Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, European Commission