On July 15, the 2022 China UK Green Finance Development Forum, jointly hosted by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of the Central University of Finance and Economics and the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI), was successfully held online. Leading experts from the industry and academia were invited to attend the forum to discuss how to coordinate the balance between climate, energy and development, promote the green recovery and development of the global economy, and explore how China and the UK can further deepen cooperation in green development.
Professor Yao Wang, Director General of the International Institute of Green Finance at the Central University of Finance and Economics, and Simon Culhane, CEO of the CISI and a CISI Chartered Fellow, delivered an opening speech for the forum.
Professor Yao Wang expressed her sincere welcome to all the guests in her speech. She stressed that vigorously developing green finance is an inevitable choice for the high-quality development of China and the global economy and society. Green finance will effectively guide more public and private capital to flow into relevant investments to support the realization of carbon neutrality and sustainable goals. The urgency of “green change” requires all countries in the world to adjust their policies and development directions, establish active and effective cooperation mechanisms, and strengthen their determination and efforts to promote global sustainable development. She said that China, as one of the first countries in the world to establish a green finance policy system, and the UK, as a leader in the environmental protection movement and climate movement in developed countries, both sides play a leading role in international climate issues and green finance cooperation. China UK Green Finance Cooperation has a good historical foundation and has more room for further development in the future.
Simon Culhane expressed his thanks to all experts in his opening speech. He pointed out that every financial practitioner needs to have the ability to apply knowledge related to climate change and sustainable development, so as to effectively integrate ESG and sustainable development issues into investment, loan and other decisions, and help improve the policy standards of financial activities. He hoped that China and the UK could work together to promote the development of green and sustainable financial education, training and qualification certification, and create efficient and long-term solutions for the global response to climate risks and biodiversity challenges.
Deyun Cao, Secretary of the Party Committee, Executive Vice President and Secretary General of China Insurance Asset Management Association, Chun Cui, Chairman of Huatai Securities (Shanghai) Asset Management Co Ltd. Anjalika Bardalai, Chief Economist and Research Director of The City UK, and Leon Saunders Calvert, Head of Research and Portfolio Management of the London Stock Exchange Group made keynote speeches.
Deyun Cao pointed out in the keynote speech “exploration of green finance development and due diligence management in China’s insurance industry” that as a long-term fund, insurance funds should give full play to the advantages of long-term funds, grasp the investment opportunities brought by the dual carbon goal and green transformation, and actively provide green financial services. He said that as an organization in the field of insurance fund utilization, the China Insurance Asset Management Association should promote the development of green finance and sustainable investment in China’s insurance industry from many aspects in the future: first, actively organize and carry out special research on green investment in the insurance industry, lay the foundation for the formulation of supporting green investment and ESG information disclosure standards, and also point out the direction for the future development of relevant ability improvement courses; Second, cooperate with the release of the “green finance guidelines for banking and insurance industry”, organize industry forces under the guidance of regulatory authorities, promote the research of ESG investment guidelines for insurance funds, develop supporting green investment information disclosure and evaluation standards that adapt to China’s national conditions and industries, improve the quality of disclosed data, and reduce the cost of data acquisition and analysis; third, continue to develop and launch the due diligence management standards for China’s insurance asset management industry; fourth, continue to promote ESG capacity-building and talent training in the industry.
Chun Cui gave professional opinions on “promoting the development of ESG investment and leading the green transformation of asset management” in her keynote speech. She said that green development has gradually become a global consensus. The green transformation of China’s asset management industry is gradually on track and driving into the fast lane. Green finance has become a new label of China’s asset management ecosystem. She suggested that as an important part of the financial system, asset management institutions should play a deep role in resource allocation, long-term investment, risk management and other aspects, and guide funds to flow to green industries; second, continue to practice the ESG concept, build a bridge between ESG investment, customers and public welfare and environmental protection projects at the product and investment ends, and make two-way enabling and responsible investment; third, financial institutions need to pool industry forces to enable green development through two-way development of investment and financing, innovation of green financial products and strengthening scientific and technological integration.
Anjalika Bardalai introduced the research results of her institution in her speech entitled “Green Finance – quantitative assessment of market trends”. She pointed out that the green financial market of a country is closely related to its overall financial market and the size of the national economy. She said that in the future, financial institutions should provide assistance to the government in defining “green” standards for investment projects and quantifying green finance, and work together to promote the positive impact of the real economy on sustainable development.
Leon Saunders Calvert’s speech focused on “mitigation and adaptation to climate change – decarbonization is imperative”, emphasizing the relevance between finance and ethical investment. He said that climate risk cannot be simply and directly reflected in risk safety assessment and financing transactions. In the process of promoting the realization of decarbonization and sustainable development, first, regulators, enterprises and investors should improve the value standard and decarbonization concept, and internalize the carbon cost into the enterprise value and decision-making; Second, we need to increase investment in scientific and technological innovation to help different industries achieve decarbonization in different periods; Third, we should attach importance to the data analysis and methodology related to the evaluation of investment, and include ESG factors into the investment standards.
In the round table discussion session of the forum, Juzhong Zhuang, Academic Committee member of the International Financial Forum (IFF) and visiting professor of Fanha International School of Finance, Fudan University; Alderman Michael Mainelli Chartered FCSI, Senior Councillor of the City of London and author of the Global Green Finance Index; Alexander Van de Putte, Professor of Sustainable Foresight at IE Business School in Spain, chairman of corporate governance and management of Astana International Financial Center, and director of the national investment company of the National Bank of Kazakhstan; Linlin Wang, assistance director of the Finance Accounting and Auditing, State Grid Energy Research Institute launched an in-depth discussion on “balancing climate, energy and development”. George Littlejohn MCSI, Senior Adviser at CISI, presided over the round table discussion.
During the round table discussion, experts put forward their own views on the challenges faced by green development from their own professional fields. Juzhong Zhuang pointed out that green finance puts forward higher requirements for market infrastructure, which will bring challenges to the construction of the financial system of developing countries around the world. It is suggested that developed countries and market participants in developing countries promote cooperation in knowledge sharing, capacity-building and sound investment principles. Developed countries should also actively fulfil their commitments to provide funds for climate action to support the development of capital markets in developing countries; Alderman Michael Mainelli said that the biggest problem with the current development of green finance is that it heavily relies on the policy regulatory framework and public awareness publicity of climate change. There is still room to improve the effectiveness of methodological applications such as ESG, effectively combining green and financial incentives, and continuously improving carbon market transactions Promoting the optimization and innovation of carbon financial products such as sustainable development linked bonds will provide key assistance to promote global green and sustainable investment; Alexander Van de Putte suggested that a sustainable and inclusive global renewable energy Internet could be built by promoting the integration of digital ecosystem, information technology and media industry, improving the resilience of the global value chain, giving full play to the advantages of technology integration and international cooperation, and promoting the realization of the global sustainable goals; LinLin Wang said that energy transformation is the key to the realization of the “double carbon” goal. As a bridge connecting primary energy and terminal energy, electricity will be the core element of the gradual transformation of modern energy systems to diversification, low-carbon, clean and intelligent. In the future, power grid investment should be included in the catalogue of green finance and transformation financial support, and at the same time, financial innovation in the green industrial chain of the energy industry should be vigorously carried out, take electricity and power grid as the carrier to promote the green transformation of the entire energy industry chain and even a wider range of industries.
This forum aims to further deepen the international cooperation and exchanges between China and the UK on green finance and jointly promote the green and low-carbon transformation. A wide range of audiences from relevant government departments, financial institutions, academic institutes participated in this forum online.