ACCA and Green Finance Platform say green finance education crucial to economic recovery

At joint online event, global experts explore the increasing need for the finance sector to develop new capabilities through relevant education and training in green finance principles and practice

As the world continues to struggle with COVID-19, finance leaders are looking to build back better in delivering a green and just recovery. To achieve this, they need to be better equipped with the right education and training in order to mainstream green finance knowledge and skills.

Addressing this issue, the Green Finance Platform and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) hosted a webinar on Fostering Economic Recovery through Green Finance Education. During the online session, global experts explored how green finance education and capacity building are critical to ensure a sustainable and resilient recovery. 

Participants stressed that concerted actions are needed to transform economies and spotlighted the EU Green Deal as a game-changer to guide such actions, of which education and training are essential building blocks. A first priority is education and capacity building of all financial actors to better understand, assess and manage climate and other environmental issues. A second priority is to raise awareness and educate consumers and citizens on green finance and investment.

Benjamin Simmons, Head of Secretariat of the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership, opened the webinar: “Financial institutions have a role to play in ensuring that stimulus packages are channelled into projects aligned with a transition to more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable economic recovery, which includes net-zero goals and recognizes of the value of ecosystem services. This requires that financial practitioners have the education, training and capacity to develop and apply sustainable financial principles, methodologies, and data”.

The European Commission has taken a leading role in accelerating sustainable finance, notably in its Sustainable Finance Action Plan, and the communication on the European Education Area gives great importance to promoting green skills, including green finance education. In June 2020, the world’s first Green Finance Education Charter collectively committed signatories to incorporating green and sustainable finance principles and practice into their education and training programmes for professionals worldwide.

Heidi Hautala, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament, said: “The European Parliament has done relentless work to have private and public sector fully integrated into the efforts towards a sustainable future. This is not at all a small task and we are only at the beginning. There will be new EU initiatives on corporate due diligence, sustainable corporate governance, on the review of the Non-Financial reporting Directive, and exploratory work on European non-financial reporting standards has started. The new pieces of legislation have to be brought into practice, and it is an enormous task to disseminate the information. To do this successfully, a lot of guidance and education on environmental, social and governance impacts and their measurement is needed. “

The debate also confirmed that a poor understanding of environmental risks and opportunities, together with the lack of standardized metrics and methods for measuring environmental risks, are among the core obstacles preventing a boosting of the green agenda. Speakers agreed that there are benefits for adopting a comprehensive framework that captures all key aspects of the environment or natural capital. The work the European Commission, five ESG standard-setters, the World Economic Forum and the IFRS Foundation Trustees towards establishing a common set of non-financial reporting standards was also highlighted. 

Helen Brand, OBE, ACCA’s Chief Executive, concluded “As sustainability is a truly global challenge, the solutions we develop need to be global. The Statement of Intent from the main standard-setting bodies – CDP, CDSB, GRI, IIRC and SASB – to work together on a shared vision for a comprehensive, globally accepted, corporate reporting system is an important step. We also strongly welcome IFRS Foundation’s Consultation Paper on Sustainability Reporting, which explores possible roles the IFRS Foundation may have for the development of internationally recognized standards on sustainability reporting.”

The recording of the webinar is available here.

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About Green Finance Platform

For media enquiries, contact: Camille Andre, Green Finance 

E: c.andre@ggkp.org

Tel: + 33144371628

Twitter: @GGKP_Finance

greenfinanceplatform.org

 

The Green Finance Platform is part of the Green Growth Knowledge Partnership and provides the global financial sector with the latest information, tools, initiatives and emerging good practices to mobilize green finance. Through a partnership of 30 organizations, including leading financial think tanks, we are committed to promote ESG factors as important determinants of long-term value and our vision is to increase awareness on sustainability risks and opportunities. Our Green Finance Measures Database consolidates 460+ policy and regulatory measures to promote the development of green finance, bringing together instruments from 73 developed and developing countries.

Find out more at greenfinanceplatform.org.

 

About ACCA

For media enquiries, contact: Cecile Bonino-Liti, head of EU Affairs

E: cecile.bonino-liti@accaglobal.com

Tel:+32 (0) 2 286 11 37

Mob: +32 (0) 493 29 17 66 

Twitter @ACCAViews

accaglobal.com

ACCA is the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. We’re a thriving global community of 227,000 members and 544,000 future members based in 176 countries and regions that upholds the highest professional and ethical values.

"As sustainability is a truly global challenge, the solutions we develop need to be global."

Helen Brand OBE, chief executive - ACCA