SMU, UNEP and SIIA Jointly Hosted ‘Singapore, Green Finance and the Collaborative Challenge’ Event

Date: 25 Jan 2017

Singapore, 25 January 2017 – The Singapore Management University (SMU), United Nations Environment (UNEP) and the Singapore Institute of International Affairs (SIIA) co-sponsored a public event themed ‘Singapore, Green Finance and the Collaborative Challenge’ on 10 January at SMU. The event offered insights on the nexus between sustainable finance and collaborative action, with the broader objective of delivering the Sustainable Development Goals.

Over 200 participants from the government, business, and non-profit sectors heard an overview of developments and core findings in green finance in the second edition of UNEP’s global report ‘The Financial System We Need: Momentum to Transformation’ and G20 plans, presented by Professor Simon Zadek, DSM Senior Fellow in Partnership & Sustainability, School of Social Sciences (SoSS), SMU.

The ensuing panel discussion brought together key senior stakeholders in the growing dialogue on sustainable global finance: Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS Bank; Mohammed Omran, Executive Chairman of the Egyptian Exchange, Chairman of the Federation Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges (FEAS), and Professor of Finance at the Arab Academy for Science and Technology; Nuru Mugambi, Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Kenya Bankers Association; and Prof Zadek. The panel discussion was moderated by Professor Ann Florini, Academic Director of the SMU Master of Tri-Sector Collaboration (MTSC) and Professor of Public Policy, SMU.

Professor James Tang, Dean, SoSS, SMU, opened the event and workshops with UNEP and German G20 Presidency representatives. The closing remarks at the public event were shared by Ms Chen Chen Lee, Director, Policy Programmes, SIIA.

The panel discussion explored whether, why and how to foster cross-sector collaboration in the public interest in support of sustainable finance.

Key issues addressed include:

  • A discussion of the ways in which sustainable finance may be advanced through direct market leadership or unilateral national policy and regulatory action; whether a ‘green’ finance agenda, and/or a green focus provide a market edge; and for market actors to note at what stage and why collaboration between state and market might be required.
  • Whether today’s national collaboration and international/regional co-operation to advance sustainable finance is working to overcome bureaucratic silos and foster effective action, and what more action is needed.
  • What Singapore’s role in international cooperation around sustainable finance was, and how it could best advance nationally and regionally through public-private collaboration.

SMU’s MTSC programme led the University’s efforts in joining hands with leaders across government, businesses and civil society organisations for the launch event’s cross-disciplinary dialogues on the global issue of advancing sustainable finance. The MTSC is a ground-breaking programme at the SMU School of Social Sciences that delivers insights and skills required for the tri-sector partnerships that Asia requires in addressing ‘wicked’ complex global challenges.

SIIA has been convening leading thinkers, corporates and experts to discuss the latest developments on sustainable finance through the Singapore Dialogue on Sustainable World Resources (SDSWR). SIIA regularly engages a vast network of policymakers and financial players, which help to raise awareness on these issues.

The public event drew in part from a concurrent workshop on GreenInvest – an initiative supported by Germany in its G20 Presidency, to provide a voice for non-G20 developing countries in the green finance debates. The workshop, co-hosted by SMU, convened participants from some 25 developing countries for a first consultation across two days of workshops on 9 and 10 January. The attendees included senior executives and officials from central banks, stock exchanges, banking and other business associations, and finance ministries.

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UN Environment’s Inquiry / GreenInvest

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