Global, EU and UK sustainable finance initiatives
Produced in partnership with Kathryn Emmett, Rosa Mottershead, Rob Marsh, Andrew Hedges, Imogen Garner and Cara Dowling of Norton Rose Fulbright

The following Banking & Finance practice note produced in partnership with Kathryn Emmett, Rosa Mottershead, Rob Marsh, Andrew Hedges, Imogen Garner and Cara Dowling of Norton Rose Fulbright provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Global, EU and UK sustainable finance initiatives
  • What is sustainable finance?
  • Global action
  • The G20
  • The United Nations
  • Other global initiatives
  • EU action
  • Targets
  • Taxonomy
  • Labelling
  • More...

Global, EU and UK sustainable finance initiatives

In response to the The Paris Agreement, governments and intra-governmental organisations launched a number of measures to promote sustainable finance. To date, these have focused on voluntary measures, relying on businesses and investors to self-monitor in this area. As the global move towards a more sustainable economy gathers pace, and the need to respond to the risks presented by climate change becomes more urgent, these measures are beginning to be transposed into legislation and regulation. While many financial institutions have already implemented internal systems for assessing and monitoring the sustainability of their businesses, the introduction of regulatory frameworks focused on sustainable finance should lead to standardisation in this diverse area, requiring financial institutions to assess and report on sustainability issues within their existing governance and risk management structures. For more information on the Paris Agreement, see Practice Note: The Paris Agreement 2015—snapshot.

This Practice Note will outline global and EU initiatives in sustainable finance, as well as the current approach in the UK. As this is a fast-moving area, this Practice Note will be updated periodically. The information contained in this note is correct as at July 2021. For developments since then, see: Practice Note: Sustainable finance—recent news.

What is sustainable finance?

Sustainable finance refers to the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria by financial institutions into business or

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