Climate change

Workshop on Metrics for Climate Transition and Net-Zero GHGs in Finance - Supporting climate policy goals and avoiding greenwashing

22 February 2023
12h30-18h00 (CET)
OECD Paris
Hybrid Meeting

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.


Workshop chair: 
  • Raphaël Jachnik, Team Lead Finance for Climate Action, OECD Environment Directorate

Opening Session - Importance of environmental integrity in climate-related assessments of finance

The opening session highlighted the need to avoid greenwashing and ensure environmental integrity in tracking the financial sector’s climate mitigation performance and in assessing its alignment with the Paris Agreement temperature goal. The session also took stock of the latest climate science as well as the challenges and integrity issues faced by finance and investment net-zero initiatives and commitments.
Introductory remarks: 
  • Jo Tyndall, Director, OECD Environment Directorate

Keynote speaker: 

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. 

  • Sylvain Vanston, Executive Director, Climate Investment Research, MSCI
  • Charlotte Gardes, Climate Change, Energy and Financial Stability Expert, International Monetary Fund

  • Jolien Noels, Policy Analyst Finance for Climate Action, OECD Environment Directorate

Guiding discussion questions:
  • What GHG and non-GHG based metrics and indicators can credibly measure the climate performance of corporate-related financial assets, incentivise emissions reductions, and assess corporate transition plans?
  • What are methodological and data challenges, as well as potential solutions, to tracking the climate mitigation performance of corporate-related financial assets?

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.

  • Nicolas Lancesseur, Head of Climate Research, Beyond Ratings/London Stock Exchange Group
  • Justin Travlos, Global Head of Responsible Investment, AXA Investment Managers Real Assets

  • Walid Oueslati, Head of Division Environment, Transition and Resilience, OECD Environment Directorate

Guiding discussion questions:
  • For which financial asset classes are further tracking and assessment efforts, data and methodological developments most urgently needed to strengthen the integrity and impact of net zero assessments in finance?
  • What are the commonalities and differences in terms of scope, methodology and greenwashing risks between tracking the climate mitigation performance of corporate-related and other financial 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.

  • Nate Aden, Sector Manager Finance, Science Based Target initiative/World Resources Institute
  • Anja Ludzuweit, Executive Director of Portfolio Alignment Measurement, GFANZ
  • Laura Santa, Sustainable Finance Hub, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia
  • Kevin Adams, Lead Climate Finance Negotiator, U.S. Department of State

  • Robert Patalano, Senior Counsellor, OECD Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs

Guiding discussion questions:
  • What are the data and methodological challenges involved in aggregating GHG performance metrics across assets and asset classes to assess the climate performance of financial institutions, portfolios and centres? What types of environmental integrity issues and greenwashing risks result from this?
  • What non-GHG based metrics and indicators can contribute to broader tracking and assessment of net zero and climate alignment strategy, actions, and impacts by investors and financial centres?

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.


  • Mahesh Roy, Programme Director Investor Practices, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change
  • Padraig Oliver, Programme Officer Climate Finance, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • Mathilde Mesnard, Deputy Director, OECD Environment Directorate

Guiding discussion questions:
  • What are current gaps in indicators and processes promoted by existing voluntary frameworks and how can they support or undermine achieving real-economy impacts?
  • Which existing frameworks and standards can help strengthen the credibility and integrity of financial sector net-zero, climate transition and alignment initiatives?

Closing remarks and wrap up

  • Mathieu Garnero, Finance ClimAct Project Director, French Environment and Energy Management Agency
  • Joeri Rogelj, Director of Research, Grantham Institute/Imperial College London
  • Mathilde Mesnard, Deputy Director, OECD Environment Directorate