The UK government, the Green Finance Institute, and 12 leading financial professional bodies this week launched the first Green Finance Education Charter.
The Charter was first announced in the UK's Green Finance Strategy in July 2019 and is a significant commitment from Chartered and professional bodies in the UK and internationally to integrate green finance and sustainability into their core curricula, new qualifications, and the continued professional development of their members.
John Glen MP, economic secretary to the Treasury said: "In the Green Finance Strategy we published last year, we committed to a Green Finance Education Charter, and I am proud to be helping to launch that today. The finance sector has a vitally important role to play in combating climate change, and by ensuring those working in the industry get the right training, we can ensure green finance and sustainability is central to our work now and in the future."
The launch of the Charter also forms an important part of the UK Government's ‘Pathway to COP26', a series of events leading up to the global climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021.
The finance sector has a vitally important role to play in combating climate change, and by ensuring those working in the industry get the right training, we can ensure green finance and sustainability is central to our work now and in the future.”
The Charter asks financial services professional bodies to commit, by the end of this year, to:
- Engage members on issues related to climate change and environmental issues, with the aim of raising their profile within each profession;
- Curate, develop and promote relevant resources to members on green and sustainable finance;
- Encourage the adoption of relevant global and national standards, frameworks and guidance, including the Principles for Responsible Investment, Banking and Insurance and the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);
On an ongoing basis they are asked to commit to:
- Engage with policymakers, regulators, researchers and practitioners to identify and promote impactful and effective best practices in green and sustainable finance, and support national strategies;
- Collaborate with signatories to the Charter, and with other domestic and international counterparts to enhance and promote the integration of green and sustainable finance into academic and professional programmes of education and training;
- Work with the Green Finance Institute to engage employers and encourage commitment to and take up of green and sustainable finance programmes of initial and continuing professional development;
- Report annually on progress in mainstreaming the principles and practice of green and sustainable finance.
In the UK alone, financial Chartered and professional bodies represent more than a million accountants, actuaries, bankers, financial analysts, treasurers, risk managers and other professionals who are fundamental to the definition and integration of both professional and technical standards across the financial system.
Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, chief executive, Green Finance Institute said: "Green is one of the most exciting, creative and fast-growing areas of finance and the skills required to drive the agenda will be increasingly sought after as the global economy shifts to net-zero carbon. The Green Finance Institute is pleased to support the financial services professional bodies in providing their members the opportunity to build their skills and play their part in financing the green transition."
Simon Thompson, chief executive, Chartered Banker Institute, said: "To mainstream green and sustainable finance, we must also mainstream green finance knowledge and skills throughout the banking, finance and professional services sectors. Our world-leading professional bodies have key roles to play in developing and embedding the standards, norms, values and practices to form the future shape of finance and developing the capability and capacity of these sectors in the UK, and globally.
"The Green Finance Education Charter sets out our collective commitment to incorporating green and sustainable finance principles and practice into our education and training programmes for professionals worldwide. Over time, millions of current and future professionals will develop their knowledge of green and sustainable finance - and play their part in leading the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon world."
Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI, CISI CEO said: "We are extremely pleased to be supporting this initiative, an important step in acknowledging our profession's commitment to education across the broad field of responsibility and sustainability, including green finance. This supports our members worldwide in bringing the drive, energy, integrity and skills needed to deliver the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to establish a low-carbon world.
"The Charter aligns with the momentum already underway in our learning and qualifications programmes to ensure our members and future candidates can help build a planet fit for our children's children to thrive in - and pass on."