Fair Finance Asia calls upon G20 leaders to promote sustainable and responsible finance

OSAKA, Japan, June 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As the G20 Summit commences in Osaka today, Fair Finance Asia (a regional network of civil society organisations in Asia) calls on the G20 to strengthen its leadership and actions in implementing socially and environmentally sustainable finance and responsible investments.

In line with the Civil 20 (C20) policy recommendations submitted to the leaders of the G20 in April this year, Fair Finance Asia (FFA) urges the leaders of these countries to boost policies and regulations, and bolster quality investments in a way that addresses climate change, helps achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inclusive economic development, and promotes human rights for all.

G20 countries are also called upon to reiterate their commitments to the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and promote due diligence and transparency in global financial chains.

As infrastructure development becomes a key global priority, Fair Finance Asia welcomes the endorsement by the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in their June Communique' of the G20 Principles of Quality Infrastructure Investment as a common strategic direction. FFA seeks commitment and action from the G20 countries to lead the way in paving an enabling global policy environment that mandates financial institutions to immediately end their support for coal financing.

Japan's ability to broker the G20 Principles of Quality Infrastructure Investment, covering important issues such as debt sustainability, social and environmental protection and strengthened governance, is highly commendable. However, it is also important to note that under the Japanese presidency, the Sustainable Finance Study Group (SFSG) has been dissolved. The SFSG's work focused on green finance and other sustainability topics, such as job creation and income equality. FFA calls for the reinstatement of the SFSG and also that cooperation among financial regulators and policymakers across the G20 countries is strengthened towards meeting the social and environmental challenges of our societies.

Bernadette Victorio, the Regional Program Lead, Fair Finance Asia states, "We eagerly await to see these high level commitments translated into tangible actions at the regional and national levels. Financial regulators and authorities globally must work together to implement sustainable finance initiatives and policies to achieve comprehensive positive social, environmental and economic results. We call upon the G20 leaders to promote sustainable finance and responsible investments that encourage private sector participation in enabling the integration of environmental and social considerations in their business activities."

Yuki Tanabe, Program Director, Japan Center for a Sustainable Environment and Society (JACSES), who is also a part of Fair Finance Japan, said, "It is critical that the G20 leaders take urgent steps to promote sustainable finance. G20 financing for infrastructure should be in line with the goal of Paris Agreement, and G20 should end their public financing for new coal-fired power development as the first step."

Endnote: In alignment with the C20, Fair Finance Asia calls on the G20 countries to agree and commit to actions towards ensuring that financial institutions invest for the good of us all. The key recommendations can be seen here.

Fair Finance Asia (FFA) is a network of civil society organizations working in Asia to ensure that financial institutions in the region give due considerations to the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) criteria in their business activities and investment decisions. Seven countries within the region are a part of the FFA: Cambodia, Japan, India, Indonesia, The Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. 

FFA spokesperson for contacts:

Bernadette Victorio
Regional Program Lead
Fair Finance Asia
bernadette.victorio@oxfam.org
+91-9818833021

Tweet: @FairFinanceAsia