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UNEP FI Initiatives

Principles for Sustainable Insurance

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G7 Countries, Top Insurers Team Up for Climate Change Resilience

7 May, 2015

German Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Gerd Müller, has unveiled the new G7 Initiative on Climate Risk Insurance, during a high-level forum attended by, as well as decision makers from the G7 and developing countries, the insurance industry, academia and civil society. Efforts to attract greater engagement by the insurance industry have been spearheaded by UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI) - the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, with 80 members representing more than 15% of world premium and US $9 trillion in assets. Read more


UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance launches pioneering initiative on disaster resilience

1 May, 2015

The UNEP FI-created Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI), the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry, has launched an unprecedented initiative designed to encourage insurance organisations to demonstrate leadership by making voluntary commitments to build disaster resilience and promote sustainable development. The commitments support the aims of all UN-convened global policy frameworks culminating this year, on disaster risk reduction, financing for development, the Sustainable Development Goals, and climate change. The PSI is backed by insurers representing about 15 per cent of the world’s premium volume with US $9 trillion in assets under their management. These insurance commitments follow the successful launch of the PSI’s “United for disaster resilience” statement at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai, Japan in March, outlining the roles of the insurance industry in helping implement the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.


UNEP FI Initiative represented at New York Stock Exchange bell-ringing event

23 April, 2015

The Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC), an initiative created in part by UNEP FI, was today represented at a meeting at the New York Stock Exchange on the need for low-carbon investments. The meeting, to mark Earth Day, and chaired by the UN Pension fund, was a platform to help mainstream the issue of decarbonization and to encourage other pension funds to decarbonize their portfolios.
Click here to read more.


Establishing China’s Green Financial System – Report of the Green Finance Task Force

22 April, 2015

China’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China, has launched a ground-breaking report that sets out in specific and practical terms an ambitious agenda of how China can green its rapidly developing financial and capital markets.

The report, entitled “Establishing China’s Green Financial System”, is the outcome of a Green Finance Task Force which was tasked to develop policy, regulatory and market-innovations that would better align China’s financial system with the needs of green industry and sustainable development. The Task Force was co-convened by the Research Bureau of the People’s Bank of China (PBC) and the United Nations Environment Programme project Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System (`UNEP Inquiry`).
Read the report.


UNEP FI project takes further step on making sustainability full part of investors duties in Japan

21 April, 2015

UNEP FI and PRI’s landmark project on Fiduciary Duty – an investigation into why environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are not routinely incorporated into investor portfolios – took a significant step forward at the Responsible Investor Asia 2015 conference in Tokyo, Japan. The panel discussion, which included key players from across the industry, involved a forensic analysis of the Japanese investment market and the barriers to ESG integration.

In all, the project will examine the barriers to ESG integration in eight countries – Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Japan, South Africa, UK, and USA – and will propose practical actions for institutional investors and policy-makers to address these barriers.

View the event notes.


California department of insurance joins UNEP FI’s Principles for Sustainable Insurance

7 April, 2015

UNEP FI is delighted to announce that the California Department of Insurance, led by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, has recently become a signatory to the UNEP FI-created Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI). California is the largest insurance market in the US and the sixth largest in the world. The California Department of Insurance has taken a leading role in addressing climate change risk in the US insurance industry, and is the second insurance regulator to join the PSI, after the Philippine Insurance Commission. PSI membership in North America was also recently reinforced when TD Insurance in Canada became a PSI signatory company.


Fiduciary Duty and ESG Integration: Some Reflections from the UK

20 March, 2015

On 19 March 2015, PRI and UNEP FI convened an investor roundtable to examine how prevailing definitions and interpretations of fiduciary duty affect UK investors’ approach to the integration of ESG issues into their investment processes.
The argument that investors should take account of ESG issues in their investment processes is now relatively uncontroversial. To deliver this change requires that attention is paid to training, behaviours, expectations, professional ethics and transparency across the entire investment industry.
View the event notes.
Reference: Responsible Investor Article (login required).


Top Insurers Call for Urgent Action to Reduce Risk from Natural Disasters, Highlight US $190 Billion Annual Losses and Threat to Lives and Livelihoods

18 March, 2015

Sendai, Japan, 14 March 2015 – Top insurers from around the world have called on governments, Saturday, to step up global efforts to build resilience against natural disasters, highlighting that average economic losses from disasters in the last decade amounted to around US $190 billion annually, while average insured losses were at about US $60 billion.
The 'United for Disaster Resilience Statement' was released at the opening of the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction by top insurance companies, members of the UNEP FI Principles for Sustainable Insurance (PSI)—the largest collaborative initiative between the UN and the insurance industry. PSI is backed by insurers representing about 15 per cent of the world’s premium volume and US $9 trillion in assets under their management.
The Statement urges governments to adopt the UN Post-2015 Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction, emphasizing that the insurance industry is well placed to understand the economic and social impact of disasters given that its core business is to understand, manage and carry risk.
Read the full press release.
Read extensive media coverage of the launch of UNEP FI's PSI initiatives at the 3rd UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.


US$6 trillion Asset Owners meet to address climate change, Columbia University, New York, 9th March

13 March, 2015

Asset owners representing USD $5.8 trillion of assets-under-management attended a high-level workshop co-organized by UNEP FI on “Mobilizing Financial Markets to Catalyze Economic Decarbonization”. The high level meeting represented an excellent opportunity for both governments and investors to discuss how the finance sector can take the lead on economic decarbonization, and the most promising approaches for investor action. It was attended by the French government’s special envoy on climate change and UN Assistant Secretary General on Climate Change Janos Pasztor.

The workshop is a follow up to efforts to mobilize the financial sector behind decarbonization that began at the UN Climate Summit in September 2014. By demonstrating the tremendous momentum coming from the private sector, UNEP FI hopes to support a meaningful agreement at the Conference of the Parties in December 2015. Between now and COP 21, UNEP FI’s Portfolio Decarbonization Coalition (PDC) will assemble a coalition of investors who in aggregate will commit to decarbonizing at least USD 100bn in institutional investment across asset classes. Thus far, the PDC membership has grown to approximately USD$35billion in AUM, but much more growth is needed.


Launch of Energy Efficiency – the first fuel for the EU Economy - Final Report covering Buildings, Industry and SMEs

27 February, 2015

The Energy Efficiency Financial Institutions Group (“EEFIG”) was established as a specialist expert working group by the European Commission and UNEP FI, in late 2013, as a result of the dialogue between Directorate-General for Energy and UNEP FI, as both institutions were engaging with financial institutions to determine how to overcome the well documented challenges inherent to obtaining long-term financing for energy efficiency.
Founders believe that the creation of EEFIG represents the first time such a dialogue and work platform has been established between the Commission and the financial sector on the topic of energy efficiency finance.
To read the report click here.



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