G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting - Session 2: Financial Sector Issues, 26 February 2021

 

Remarks by Angel Gurría,

Secretary-General, OECD

Paris, 26 February 2021

Ministers, Governors,

Let me start by warmly welcoming the initiative to re-establish the Sustainable Finance Study Group and congratulating China and the United States for their co-chairmanship.

Efforts are being stepped up to channel investments that can decarbonise economies. Institutional investors with over USD 30 trillion of assets under management are now using some variants of ESG, and in OECD countries, many companies are engaging in ESG disclosures.

Yet, there remain considerable challenges that reduce the efficacy of sustainable finance to support net zero as well as the preservation of biodiversity:

  • First, progress on ESG investing is currently limited by data inconsistencies, and lack of comparability among different ESG criteria and rating methodologies.
  • Second, while many prominent initiatives rightfully focus on financial materiality and climate change, we must also look at environmental materiality, making sure it makes a positive contribution to environmental goals.
  • Third, there is a scarcity of established frameworks to track and assess stranded assets, transition plans, and green opportunities.

In response to these challenges, the OECD is working on an ESG metrics repository, to promote common good practices of ESG metric usage and pave the way towards global ESG metrics and ratings principles. We will make this analysis available to the Sustainable Finance Study Group.

Finally, let me say a brief word on financial inclusion. Clearly, digitalisation is key, to improving financial inclusion of vulnerable groups and SMEs, provided we ensure adequate and inclusive access to digital technologies and infrastructure, as well as an appropriate level of digital skills.

The OECD International Network on Financial Education (INFE) and the G20/OECD Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection, which both include all G20 members, are working closely with the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) on both these issues. And we wish to encourage all G20 members to participate in the G20/OECD INFE survey on the financial literacy of MSMEs in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.

Please continue to count on the OECD to make finance more sustainable, greener and inclusive. Thank you!

 

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