Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement calls for “making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate-resilient development”, thus recognising the critical role played by finance in meeting climate policy goals. Measuring progress towards this goal requires the development of relevant indicators and assessments, for both the financial sector and underlying real economy assets, actors, and investments.
In this context, an increasing number of initiatives are supporting the alignment of finance with the Paris Agreement and net-zero goals by, among others, encouraging action, designing alignment frameworks and assessment methodologies, developing metrics, and promoting improved reporting and data availability. The emergence and diversity of such initiatives implies a need for further co-ordination and improved common understanding on the range of potential metrics and indicators. This workshop contributed to this process, with a focus on if and how such metrics and indicators contribute to assessing progress towards climate mitigation policy goals. As such, the event placed a strong focus on the issue of climate integrity and impacts in terms of GHG emission reductions in the real economy.
To foster knowledge sharing and dialogue, the event gathered technical experts and practitioners within the following communities: climate policy makers, financial regulators and supervisors, investors and financial institutions, researchers, data and assessment methodology providers.
The workshop was hosted by the OECD Research Collaborative on Tracking Finance for Climate Action, based on funding provided by a range of OECD member countries. It is part of a series of Research Collaborative workshops related to assessing progress towards Article 2.1c of the Paris Agreement. This workshop also contributes to a series of three OECD workshops on “Climate Science, Policy, Regulation and Practice” funded by ADEME and Institut de la Finance Durable in the context of the Finance ClimAct initiative, supported by a grant from the LIFE program.
Opening Session - Importance of environmental integrity in climate-related assessments of finance
Session 1: Metrics and indicators supporting net zero for different financial assets
The session covered the range of existing and potential indicators to track and assess the climate mitigation performance at the level of individual financial assets and asset classes. The session also discussed the strengths and limitations of existing indicators, as well as the potential ways forward for compiling series of complementary indicators towards comprehensive and credible tracking and assessments. In doing so, the session further highlighted both commonalities and differences across asset classes.
Item A. Corporate equity and debt
Acknowledging that most current tracking efforts of financial climate performance focus on corporate related assets, this item zoomed in on the range of climate performance indicators for corporate equity and debt. It discussed the types of existing indicators, and the integrity and data challenges they face, including in the context of corporate transition plans.
Item B. Sovereign bonds and real estate
A sole focus on corporate-related financial assets results in a partial coverage of financial assets and underlying real economy actors and activities. In turn, it can undermine the relevance and environmental integrity of efforts to track the consistency of finance with climate mitigation policy goals. This item considered indicators available to track and assess the climate mitigation performance of other asset classes, by zooming in on real estate and sovereign bonds. It highlighted current metrics in use, ongoing developments, remaining technical and conceptual challenges as well as, in this context, commonalities and differences across asset classes.
Session 2: Aggregate and complementary metrics at the level of financial portfolios and financial centres
This session reflected on indicators relevant to track and assess climate mitigation performance at the level of financial portfolios, institutions, and centres. It discussed the types and range of possible indicators, their relevance to avoid greenwashing and reflect actual changes in the real economy, as well as the incentives they set for financial institutions and investors. This session also considered the practical challenges relating to sourcing the necessary data and constructing aggregate-level indicators.
Session 3: Frameworks and coordination to strengthen the credibility and integrity of net zero tracking and climate alignment initiatives
This final session broadened the perspective by considering the standards, frameworks and processes that can further support the credibility and environmental integrity of net zero and climate alignment tracking initiatives, while ensuring equity as well as coherence with other environmental and social policy objectives.
Closing remarks and wrap up