James Moorhouse reports on how the CII is helping professionals get to grips with green finance
The Green Finance Education Charter was launched in June 2020 to develop the green and sustainable finance sector, both in the UK and internationally. It has now been 18 months since the launch, with significant actions completed during that time.
The Green Finance Education Charter recognises that Chartered professional bodies play key roles in shaping and defining standards, norms, values and practices in finance. Its core aim is to lead and shape education and training for current and future generations of finance professionals.
As one of the signatories, the CII has committed to engaging with members and the sector on key issues, including sustainability in insurance asset management, climate change and environmental impacts on property.
To fulfil the Charter, the CII and the other signatories have committed to the following:
- Curate, develop and promote relevant resources to members.
- Encourage the adoption of relevant global and national standards, frameworks and guidance.
- Engage with policymakers, regulators, researchers and practitioners to identify and promote impactful and effective good practices in green and sustainable finance, and support national strategies.
- Collaborate with other signatories, as well as domestic and international counterparts, to enhance and promote the integration of green and sustainable finance into education and training programmes.
- Work with the Green Finance Institute to engage employers and encourage commitment to continuing professional development of green and sustainable finance programmes.
- Report annually on progress in mainstreaming the principles and practice of green and sustainable finance.
In support of this, the CII has already completed the following:
- Certificate in Climate Risk, developed with the Chartered Body Alliance.
- CII Radio podcast about the newly launched certificate.
- Professional Focus webinars on the impact of climate risks on the insurance sector and a three-part series on environmental, social and governance (ESG).
- Published a New Generation Group project on flood resilience.
- Launched a channel on InsureTV with a series of videos on ESG.
- Engaged in sector events, including the Insurance Asset Management Conference, on climate-related issues.
- Insurance Institute of London (IIL) held webinars on climate risks.
- Registered more than 1,800 CII and Personal Finance Society members to attend one or more events related to climate change/environmental issues.
- Facilitated the attendance of more than 1,800 CII members and others at the Annual General Insurance Conference, which covered key climate-related risks facing the sector.
Green Finance Education Charter signatories will play key roles to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account
Now that the Green Finance Education Charter is established, with solid contributions from all signatories, plans are already in place for the next two years, including to:
- Increase the number of UK-based professional body signatories.
- Liaise with the UK government and regulators to raise awareness of, and coordinate activities, to develop finance knowledge and skills in the context of supporting UK and international climate action goals.
- Engage internationally (with the support of the UK government) to encourage a collective, global approach to building green and sustainable finance capacity and capabilities.
- Continue to share good practice, expertise and practical resources on green and sustainable finance, especially in emerging areas including biodiversity and nature-based finance, and transition planning.
Through engagement and planned education activities, Green Finance Education Charter signatories will play key roles to ensure that every professional financial decision takes climate change into account. This requires supporting finance professionals to develop and apply green and sustainable finance knowledge and skills in the context of their roles. The ultimate aim is to create standardised good practice in aligning finance and sustainability for all professionals, everywhere.
In addition to more focused continuing professional development (CPD) sessions and materials, another key project the CII will focus on in 2022 will be the creation of a specialised certificate for financial advisers on sustainable finance. A new companion guide to the CII Code of Ethics is also being drafted, to help members understand their obligations and responsibilities regarding green finance and sustainability. These activities also support the CII’s ‘Insightful Leadership’ plan, which has identified ESG as one of three key areas it will focus on to assist insurance and personal finance professionals during 2022.
Green Finance Education Charter
As well as the CII, the other signatories of the Green Finance Education Charter are:
- Association of Chartered Certified Accountants
- Association of Corporate Treasurers
- Association of International Accountants
- CFA Society of the UK
- Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst Association
- Chartered Banker Institute
- Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment
- Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
- Institute and Faculty of Actuaries
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales
- Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland
- London Institute of Banking and Finance.
James Moorhouse is policy and public affairs content manager of the CII
Image credit | IKON