Government urged to promote sustainable finance

The Federal Government should take steps to make sure the Australian finance industry is acting in sustainable ways, according to a report on sustainable finance in Australia.

Sustainable finance was a financial service such as banking, insurance and superannuation which takes into account environmental, social and governance impacts.

The report ‘Unlocking Australia’s Sustainable Finance Potential’ was produced by the University of Technology Sydney Centre for Business and Social Innovation and the Institute for Sustainable Futures.

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The report compared each of the European Union's ten action points to the current state of play in Australia, with key stakeholders and institutions in the Australian finance ecosystem mapped out, and examined what regulatory, co-regulatory and voluntary practices were needed.

It concluded more needed to be done to resolve policy uncertainty at a Federal level in particular and that Australia needed to set sustainable finance goals in order to reach the Paris agreement targets.

Australia launched a sustainable finance initiative with support from leaders in banking, investment and insurance sectors but, at this stage, there was a lack of comprehensive support from the Australian Government.

Dr Alice Klettner, report co-author, said: “Australia needs to address sustainable finance goals to reach the Paris agreement targets, help achieve the UN sustainable development goals, and to ensure the Australian finance sector stays up to date in the global economy.”

“We need participants in the financial system to measure, disclose and generally improve transparency, to help ensure finance is flowing in ways that improve the health of society and the environment,” added report co-author Dr Scott Kelly.

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