Policy Outlook

Responsible Finance: Developments Coming up in the Next Week

Next week will be marked by the official launch of two major initiatives in the area of sustainable finance.

The UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) will be launching its Principles for Responsible Banking (Principles), which have already been endorsed by 130 banks from 49 countries, representing over USD 47 trillion. Their key objective is to provide guidance on what it means to be a responsible bank and align operations with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. The Principles are the first UNEP FI framework to focus on banking activities and follow those issued for responsible investment (2006), sustainable insurance (2012), and positive impact (2015).

The Blueprint for Finance Against Slavery and Human Trafficking will be issued by the Liechtenstein Initiative for a Financial Sector Commission on Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking. The Blueprint is the first international level document to engage the financial sector with a proposal for their contribution to anti-slavery and anti-trafficking efforts via responsible investment and lending practices. Besides being enshrined in SDG number 8 (“Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.”), the fight against modern slavery is a trending regulatory topic as key frameworks have emerged in the UK, USA, Australia, and the Netherlands.

From a regulatory point of view, the launch of these initiatives represents a very important moment. However, by no means does it indicate the end of regulatory actions. In fact, the launch of the Principles and the Blueprint for Finance Against Slavery and Human Trafficking are just a starting point.

Going forward, you can continue to rely on the Policy Outlook to provide an insightful overview of what is going on in the sustainable finance regulatory landscape. We will help you develop an understanding of how these developments could impact your institution.

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