The financial system has a critical role to play in achieving a greener and cleaner economy
Environmental and climate considerations have moved from the margins of investment decisions to the heart of decision making. Institutional investors, lenders and the largest global corporates are changing their strategies. Sustainable finance, green bonds and impact investing are buzzwords in the financial press, but what do they really mean?
Baker McKenzie hosted a Sustainable Finance Forum on 26 September 2019, which looked at these trends, from the regulatory impetus to the bottom up investment decisions. We started by examining the EU's ambitious action plan on sustainable finance, which seeks to set the grounds for a sustainable, long-term financial system, aimed at closing an estimated investment gap of almost EUR 180 billion per year, to achieve the EU climate and energy targets by 2030. We then looked at different detailed themes – the regulatory requirements coming into force on financial institutions and how to respond, the myths and realities of much hyped "green bonds", and then looking at the opportunities in impact investing and how international financial institutions and private finance are driving sustainable infrastructure investment.
The attendees at the Sustainable Finance Forum included policy makers, corporates, financial institutions and funds. We are thankful to our impressive line-up of speakers listed below, including representatives from the European Commission, representatives of leading global and Austrian financial institutions, NGOs, and multinational corporates for their invaluable contributions and insights at the Forum.