China Report: The Risks and Opportunities of Stranded Assets

Policy Lever: Enhancing Market Practice

 Levers to enhance market practice are focused on improving the efficiency and accountability of financial markets. They  improve risk assessment and pricing - ultimately seeking to improve investor decision-making and returns.  This has to date been the most popular approach to internalizing sustainable development into financial decision-making.

Examples

Key approaches include:
  • Fiduciary duty and capacity: clarifying that duties to clients include sustainability factors and including requirements for knowledge and training on sustainability for fiduciaries.
  • Incentives: Encouraging asset owners to ensure better alignment of incentives along the investment chain.
  • Prudential risk management regulation: Integrating sustainability into guidance & requirements on risk management and controls.
  • Stress tests: Developing scenarios to test impact of environmental shocks on assets and business models.
  • Capital requirements: Calibrating capital requirements to incorporate environmental factors.
  • Disclosure requirements: Making environmental reporting by financial institutions and non-financial corporations mandatory.
  • Equity analysis: Encouraging greater transparency in equity analysis of incorporation of sustainability factors.
  • Credit ratings: Encouraging the integration of sustainability risk factors into credit analysis.
  • Green assets Adjusting standards and rules to facilitate capital raising (e.g. green bonds, green sukuks, green IPOs, yieldcos).
  • Indexes: Ensuring that benchmarks and indices reflect critical sustainability factors.

Impacts

These measures provide critical foundations of information needed to sensitise financial decision making to environmental impacts and risks, but they are likely to have a modest impact unless they are combined with additional shifts that make these risks financially material.   

Inquiry Publications

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: International Experience

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    The Green Finance Taskforce was convened in 2014 by the People’s Bank of China and the UNEP Inquiry. The Taskforce brought together leading Chinese experts on financial markets, policy and regulation from government, academia and from the private sector together with international experts and practitioners. One of the inputs to the deliberations of the Taskforce

  • China Report: Alignment of Investment Strategies with Climate Scenarios

    Date: 06-Oct-2015

    Financial institutions today are unable to measure their exposure to climate change. There are equally no approaches to inform on the alignment of their investment strategies with national or international environmental goals. This report outlines international developments in measuring and managing climate related risk in instituional investment and banking. It outlines implications for regulators in

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Green Bonds

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    Green bonds provide a potential source of long-term funding for green loans which reduces the risk of maturity mismatch. This paper recommends that China should commence the pilot issuance of green bonds at the earliest possible date to support the green lending business of banks. Specific recommendations are: Create a clear standard to define the scope of investment

  • Fiduciary Duty in the 21st Century

    Date: 08-Sep-2015

    This report is based on an analysis of investment practice and fiduciary duty in eight countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, the UK and the US. It is based on interviews, roundtables and webinars with asset owners, investment managers, lawyers and regulators and a comprehensive review of law and policy on fiduciary duty. The purpose of this

  • 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

  • Sustainable Finance?

    Date: 29-Feb-2016

    This paper seeks to assess how the international banking community is building sustainability into corporate strategies; how effectively these strategies are being implemented; how sustainability is being embedded into key business processes and decisions; and how sustainability principles are reflected in reporting. It presents an assessment of the sustainability performance of banks using a range of

  • China Green Taskforce Report: Green Rating

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    Green ratings for projects and financing for companies as part of a green credit information system makes it possible to evaluate the positive and negative environmental externalities of these projects and enterprises in a science-based manner and justify the decision-making of fiscal subsidies or penalties, discounts of bank interest rates and bond financing cost. This

  • China Green Finance Task Force Report: Green Funds

    Date: 02-Apr-2015

    This paper sets out the case for promoting the development of green industry funds as public-private partnerships (PPPs) to use limited government funding to leverage private capital into green sectors. It is envisaged that green industry funds will serve as the platform through which private capital can converge into professionally managed green investments with government as one investment

  • Banking & Sustainability: Time for Convergence

    Date: 01-Sep-2015

    In 2014, the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) and the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) commissioned a study entitled Stability and Sustainability in Banking Reform – Are Environmental Risks Missing in Basel III?, in recognition of the growing number of banking regulators around the world that have started to act on environmental

  • 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

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