Policy Lever: Harnessing Public Balance Sheets
ExamplesSteps that can be taken to develop new green investment incentives, or to align existing incentives to sustainable development include:
- Target fiscal support: Establishing and optimising fiscal incentives to mobilize private capital for green investment.
- Review fiscal incentives: Reviewing the alignment of existing fiscal incentives for savings, investment, lending and insurance with sustainability.
- Sustainability mandates of public financial institutions: Strengthening sustainability as part of the mission and operation of development finance institutions and sovereign wealth funds.
- Establish new green institutions: Launching new green investment banks and funds.
- Blended finance instruments: Developing and using financial instruments designed to share risks and overcome barriers to private investment (such as through risk underwriting & results based financing).
- Central banks refinancing operations: Extending refinancing operations to include green assets.
- Central bank asset purchase programmes: Incorporating sustainability factors into asset purchase programmes.
- Public procurement criteria: Introducing sustainable development performance into procurement of financial services by the public sector.
ImpactsThese measures are widely adopted and can be effective, but the scale of new funding available is limited. Nevertheless the financial system is already the recipient of, and conduit for, significant public financial support, which has the potential to be aligned to sustainable development.
In recent years, financial market policy-makers and regulators in China have shown leadership in advancing their roles in creating a green financial system. However, the impacts to date have been constrained by countervailing forces. In particular, the performance criteria on which local government officials are assessed still prioritizes economic growth over environmental compliance. The positive
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
The paper also shows how the objectives of financial policy-makers—such as investor protection, transparency, maintaining the safety and soundness of financial firms, financial stability, tackling systemic risk, reducing information asymmetries, tacking market failures and developmental objectives— offer multiple avenues to legitimize policy measures that can contribute to the greening of the financial system. In particular,