Since 2016, I4CE is the Secretariat of the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative. Launched at COP21 in 2015, the Initiative brings together 44 public and private financial institutions to make climate change an essential component of their strategies & operations. Leveraging its expertise and network, I4CE assists the Initiative in fostering exchanges between the so-called “Supporting Institutions” on emerging practice and approaches to mainstream climate change.
On the 6th of June, Supporting Institutions of the Initiative gathered in London for the 2019 Annual Assembly, hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. An opportunity to dialogue on priority topics – this year focusing on climate risks and ‘Paris Alignment’ – and to exchange on the strategic vision of this network.
New vision for the Initiative: “connecting the dots”
At now over three years since its creation, the Initiative strives to actively position itself within the ever-changing landscape of discussions on climate change and the financial sector. Testament to the increasing up-take of climate-related subjects by the financial sector, close to thirty calls to action, networks and finance-sector specific initiatives exist today.
To help Supporting Institutions better understand this evolving landscape, ‘Connecting the Dots’ online resource has profiled over 27 of these initiatives and identified the principal insights.
Many of these initiatives have been instrumental in advancing discussions on rules and defining common terminologies, principles, voluntary standards. In turn, many of our Supporting Institutions are directly or indirectly involved in one or more of these initiatives.
In this fast-moving landscape, discussions at the Annual Assembly led to the conclusion that the role and added value of the Climate Action in Financial Institutions Initiative lies in ‘connecting the dots’. While there is a growing body of work on climate change and the financial sector, no other initiative is in a position to ‘connect the dots’ as it can. Today, the Initiative is well placed to:
- Connect institutions: The diversity of institutions supporting the 5 voluntary Principles of the Initiative contribute to its unique position to bridge typical public-private and institutional divides.
- Connecting people: The initiative builds bridges between institutions, departments and individuals to directly share practice and experience.
- Connecting regions: As the number of our Supporting Institutions grows, it are in a unique position to foster regional discussions, bringing together institutions to discuss the specificities, opportunities and challenges.
- Connecting theory with practice: The principal raison d’êtreof the Initiative is to support our Supporting Institutions in accessing expertise – and to connect them with first-hand experience of how it can be operationalized.
- Connecting initiatives: The Initiative exchanges with the other principal initiatives on climate either directly or through our Supporting Institutions who are active participants in many of these around the world.
- Connecting with the financial community: The Initiative aims to share knowledge and expertise with each other, but also with the broader financial community – providing clear examples of what financial actors can do today on climate change.
At the Annual Assembly, the Secretariat housed by I4CE presented a report providing an overview of the Initiative’s recent activities and accomplishments. Through 2019, the Secretariat of the Initiative will continue to foster exchanges both within the Initiative and with external partners and stakeholders through its growing number of webinars, workshops, matchmaking activities and channeling of information to Supporting Institutions.