Equities

Asset Pools : Equities

The world’s equity markets have historically been the primary source of risk capital, - around 45,000 companies have a total listed market capitalization of about US$70 trillion. In addition is the US$20 trillion in property portfolios, the privately held portion of the US$35 trillion in infrastructure assets and the US$4 trillion in private equity and venture capital. Four key areas for aligning equity markets with sustainability are:
  • Sustainability disclosure: Harmonizing and strengthening stock market requirements for reporting on environmental performance and risks.
  • Deepen the use of sustainability data by investment analysts and in benchmarks and indices by encouraging greater transparency in both equity analysis and indices.
  • Upgrade the capital-raising function of equity markets for example by reducing the registration costs for ‘green IPOs’ and ensuring regulations enable innovative, infrastructure investment vehicles such as green infrastructure investment trusts (yieldcos).
  • Mobilize more private capital into infrastructure. Review financial regulations to remove unintentional constraints on investments in sustainable infrastructure. Optimise “blended finance” approaches to ensure that good value is obtained for public spending, and to develop best practice and expertise.

Inquiry Publications

  • The Experience of Governance Innovations in South Africa

    Date: 17-Jun-2016

    This paper explores whether the extent to which Regulation 28, CRISA and JSE Integrated Reporting Standards (referred to as governance policy innovations) have influenced the level of investment that integrates Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) in its decision making process. It finds that while governance innovations have increased actors’ awareness about interrelationship between ESG factors and financial performance it

  • Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development in the United States of America

    Date: 01-Feb-2016

    The US financial system is undoubtedly among the largest, most innovative and most sophisticated in the world. It is also clear that this is both a benefit and an impediment to non-governmental investment in sustainability and inclusiveness. To date, the actual investment in infrastructure and sustainability does not meet current needs, especially those related to maintaining

  • A Review of International Financial Standards as They Relate to Sustainable Development

    Date: 22-Feb-2017

    The report, a companion to the second edition of “The Financial System We Need”, examines how the international financial standards currently relate to the goals of sustainable development and explores opportunities for better alignment as a way to promote greater stability, resilience and fairness to the financial system. The key messages are: Financial standards have

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Mandatory Disclosure

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    This paper makes the case that compulsory disclosure of environmental information by listed companies and bond issuers is an effective measure to increase the sense of corporate social responsibility, improve corporate environmental performance, incentivize investors to refrain from polluting investments and strengthening green investments. It recommends: CSRC and stock exchanges formulate rules on compulsory environmental

  • Equity markets, benchmark indices, and the transition to a low-carbon economy

    Date: 15-Jun-2015

    Equity markets have a significant share in financial markets, with institutional investors and market-capitalization weighted indices playing a substantial role. Today’s landscape of market-capitalization weighted indices favours high-carbon sectors and creates biases against green, low-carbon technologies. As a result, institutional investors have lower exposure to the green economy, which, in the context of the transition

  • Sustainable Infrastructure and Finance

    Date: 13-Jun-2016

    Infrastructure is often referred to as the backbone of the global economy and plays a fundamental role in societies by enhancing the quality of life and increasing productivity. In addition to its effects on society and the economy, infrastructure can have significant impacts on the environment, depending on the choice of infrastructure. Approximately 75% of

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Stock Index

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    Traditional energy and other highly polluting industries account for a significant share of China’s major stock indices, meaning that passive investments based on stock indices encourage investment polluting industries. Creating green stock indices (stock indices with a significant share of green enterprises) is an international practice to increase the share of green investment by institutional

  • China Green Taskforce Report: Green IPOs

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    Developing innovative and growing green industry sectors in China depends on broadening funding source beyond government loans to capital markets. One of the major bottlenecks for entering the stock market for Chinese green enterprise today is the slow IPO process. The paper recommends that the CSRC simplify the IPO review and approval processes for green enterprises, in particular by: Develop a green

  • The Environmental Risk Disclosure Regime

    Date: 06-Jul-2015

    In recent years, a plurality of different governance initiatives has emerged that are designed to expand the disclosure of environmental risk within financial markets. There is evidence for policy convergence among different initiatives but it lacks the enforcement necessary for coherence, and contributes to uncertainty within the financial sector over the impact of environmental risk. This uncertainty justifies an expanded role of international

  • India Country Report

    Date: 29-Apr-2016

    An India Advisory Council of the UNEP India Inquiry was convened by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). This report highlights key proposals emerging from their discussions for aligning the Indian financial system with sustainability. In the Indian context, they call for development of a more robust and resilient ‘sustainability-oriented market framework’ focused

Further Readings

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