Inter-disciplinary workshop on sustainable finance held by the School

On 29 March 2018, Dr Irene-Marie Esser and Dr Javier Solana organised an inter-disciplinary workshop on sustainable finance under the School’s Corporate and Financial Law Theme. The workshop attracted academic researchers from Economics and Law from various UK universities, as well as representatives of the financial industry and civil society organisations.

The workshop used the final report prepared by the High-Level Expert Group for the European Commission, which was published at the end of January 2018, and the Commission’s Action Plan on Sustainable Finance, which was published on 8 March 2018, as the reference points in their discussions of topics such as the introduction of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) considerations into investment mandates, climate-related disclosures, and the possible tension between systemic risk and climate change.

The group identified three broad lines of enquiry: 1) the possibility of direct intervention in the operations of investment firms rather than the indirect route of intervention on the investment chain; 2) the need to develop a taxonomy of “green” (and possibly also “brown”) financial products to inform climate-related disclosures and the challenges associated with that exercise; and 3) the need to rethink the normative priorities of financial regulators and supervisors if the policy objective of promoting sustainable finance is also going to encompass a stable financial system.

The workshop marked the beginning of a series of conversations that will continue to take place within the School of Law and with attendees to the workshop on the possibility of designing collaborative research projects that will address these and related questions. Those interested in the exploration of sustainable finance are encouraged to contact Dr Irene-Marie Esser or Dr Javier Solana for further information about the work that the School of Law does in this area.

First published: 12 April 2018