Ireland’s growing profile as a world-leading centre for sustainable investment and climate finance has been significantly boosted today with the launch of the Government’s new five-year strategy for international financial services called ‘Ireland for Finance’.
Under the strategy, Sustainable Nation Ireland has been tasked with helping to implement a range of key actions supporting the development of Sustainable Finance that will place Ireland in the vanguard of this growing area.
Sustainable Finance is the capital required to tackle climate change and includes green bonds, ESG and socially responsible investing (SRI) investments, sustainable infrastructural investments, climate finance, and performance bonds. Ireland is home to a number of world leaders in sustainable finance investments, asset management companies, insurance companies and pension funds.
The importance of Dublin as a location for sustainable finance is signalled by Dublin’s involvement in FC4S (the UN-supported international network of Financial Centres for Sustainability), the city’s selection as its European base, and appointments at strategic levels in this area to the network.
Sustainable Nation Ireland is the secretariat for the Finance Green Ireland Committee, which provides expert advice on the green and sustainable finance agenda.
It also aims to drive awareness of Ireland’s world-leading sustainable finance credentials and advocates for policy and regulatory certainty to allow local and global capital to contribute to Ireland’s national decarbonisation efforts.
Among tasks mandated to Sustainable Nation Ireland under the ‘Ireland for Finance’ plan are:
• To undertake a deep sector analysis of future sustainable finance and responsible investment skills and talent requirements in partnership with industry bodies and Sustainability Skillnet. This is to ensure Ireland is fit for purpose as a location of a global sustainable finance hub, attracting the next generation of green and sustainable finance professionals and capital market activities to finance Irish and international sustainable infrastructure activities.
• In addition, Sustainable Nation Ireland will organise Ireland’s second Climate Finance Week in November 2019 – both events will be held under the banner of the Year of Sustainable Finance 2019.
• Deliver training programmes in sustainable finance and responsible investment supported by Sustainability Skillnet. In partnership with industry bodies, Sustainable Nation Ireland, via the Sustainability Skillnet, will continue to assess the demand and develop capacity-building programmes and qualifications where required in order to expand the market for sustainable finance and responsible investment in Ireland.
• Sustainable Nation Ireland will develop a national blueprint to guide Irish green and sustainable finance activities. As part of this work, Sustainable Nation Ireland will engage with senior decision makers globally to showcase the scale and sophistication of Ireland’s emerging green and sustainable finance activities.
Welcoming the focus on sustainable finance announced in the ‘Ireland for Finance’ strategy, Minister of State for Financial Services and Insurance, Michael D’Arcy TD, said: “Ireland’s established reputation as a world hub and leadership centre for sustainable finance is a major factor in growing the numbers of Irish located market-based participants operating in this important area. The importance of sustainable finance is highlighted in the strategy, as it is one of three horizontial themes. Sustainable Nation Ireland’s role in our five-year strategy is key, in particular through the deep sector analysis of future sustainable finance and responsible investment skills in this country which will be a crucial element in realising these significant opportunities.”
Commenting, Sustainable Nation Ireland CEO Stephen Nolan said: “We made 2019 the first-ever Year of Sustainable Finance and the direction of travel is clear: we must create the conditions that make sustainable finance and investment the absolute norm in the Irish and global economy. With ‘Ireland for Finance’, Ireland is setting a course towards ensuring that we can meet and even surpass our decarbonisation ambitions, while generating economic prosperity.”