G20 sustainable finance study group re-established

March 1, 2021|Written by Camilla Schramek

A meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors has agreed to re-establish the Sustainable Finance Study Group (SFSG), three years after it was disbanded.

In its current iteration, the study group will focus on the development of a multi-year G20 ‘Roadmap for Sustainable Rinance’. This includes outlining barriers to mobilising sustainable finance while offering key (and voluntary) climate and sustainability-related actions and milestones.

Originally created during China’s presidency of the G20 in 2016 and co-chaired by China and the United Kingdom, the group was previously called the Green Finance Study Group. It produced a large body of research material culminating in a Sustainable Finance Synthesis Report released in 2018.

The report included a series of recommendations organised around three core themes: the creation of sustainable assets for capital markets; the development of sustainable private equity and venture capital; and the exploration of potential applications of digital technologies to sustainable finance.

The People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and the US Treasury have been appointed co-chairs of the new group in what is widely seen as a confidence-building exercise to show that the world’s two largest economies can work together on climate change, despite deep differences in other areas. However, while Treasury secretary Janet Yellen and PBoC governor Yi Gang each announced their country’s role as co-chair of the new group, neither side mentioned the other country in their announcements.

The first meeting of the SFSG will be held on 26 March 2021 and a synthesis report on the progress made will be published by the end of Italy’s presidency in October 2021. The group’s main areas of focus include sustainability reporting, taxonomies, and the role of international financial institutions in supporting the Paris agreement. Secretariat support will be provided by the United Nations Development Programme.

The Treasury has already proposed that the SFSG be elevated from a study group to a working group to reflect the importance of climate change, however the PBoC has not yet responded.

This page was last updated July 9, 2024

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