Ireland gets serious about climate change on momentous day for financial system
In a highly significant day for the Irish financial system, a series of transformative measures were announced on SIF Ireland’s ESG Day at Climate Finance Week Ireland 2019 that show the sector is determined to mount a serious response to the climate crisis.
The measures saw Euronext select Dublin as a base for a dedicated green bonds section, Irish Life Investment Managers (Irish Life) announce plans to convert their entire book of assets under discretionary control to a responsible investing approach by the end of December, and the release of a statement of intent from Irish financial bodies describing climate change as a significant threat to the country’s economy.
Euronext Group revealed that it is launching a new Euronext green bonds section across its six markets and will base the initiative in Dublin. Euronext, the leading pan-European stock exchange, wants to make it easier for investors become involved in sustainable investment opportunities.
Leading Irish trade associations, including the Irish Funds Industry published a statement of intent recognising that climate change poses a significant threat to the economy, environment and society, including major risks to growth and financial stability, requiring an urgent and comprehensive response. It said climate action should be also recognised as an opportunity for concerted public-private sector action to generate multiple and substantial benefits.
Irish Life’s move will see the company have over €15 billion in assets under management which explicitly consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors in their investment approaches by the end of December.
“These measures will ensure that the Irish financial sector is fit for purpose to play a key role in securing all of our futures,” Climate Finance Week Ireland chair Stephen Nolan commented.