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ClientEarth Communications

20th July 2023

Asian Leaders Sustainable Finance Development Programme

The Asian Leaders Sustainable Finance Development Programme – co-organised with the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group and supported by Asia Investor Group on Climate Change – that took place between 12 and 14 July 2023 achieved many firsts.

Taking place at the University of Oxford, it was the first time that central bankers, financial regulators, government officials, NGO leaders, and top experts working on sustainable finance in Asia gathered in this manner to engage on major challenges and opportunities in financing the energy transition.  Participants came from over 10 countries, including from China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. It was the first neutral forum of this type to allow sharing of experiences and best practices across the region, while deepening knowledge on sustainable finance and investment with leading Oxford faculty experts. It was also the first time that many of the participants and ClientEarth staff tried their hand at punting (with varying degrees of success).

Effective mobilisation of finance is critical to addressing climate change and the loss of natural ecosystems. The strong support of regulators and key stakeholders across Asia demonstrates that the region is fully aware and prepared to address the challenges and capture the opportunities of this transition.

The programme included contributions from prominent thought leaders such as:

  • Dr Alex Money, who directs the Innovative Infrastructure Investment (in3) programme at the University of Oxford's Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
  • Dr Julia Bingler,  Research Associate in Financial Risk Data Analytics at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment.
  • Dr Nicola Ranger, who leads the Resilience and International Development Programme of the Environmental Change Institute.
  • Dr Steve Smith, Executive Director of two programmes led by the Smith School, both focussed on stabilising the climate both rapidly and sustainably.
  • Thomas Viegas, partnerships lead, Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures.
  • Thom Wetzer, Associate Professor of Law and Finance at the University of Oxford and the Founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Law Programme.
  • Matthew Scott, Executive Director, UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment (CGFI).

Over the course of 3 days, sessions included adaptation finance, climate transition planning, financing of the energy transition in Asia, nature-based solutions, and the role of law in shaping sustainable finance. Participants shared how their regulatory bodies and organisations were approaching these topics which are of high relevance and importance to the Asia region.

The programme concluded on a productive note as participants took part in a visioning session incubating ideas and initiatives that could be used to accelerate sustainable finance and its regulation in the region.

Many participants shared the value that this programme provided for their work. The gathering of like-minded regional leaders committed to advancing sustainable finance in their respective countries was new and extremely valuable. Moreover, the mutual exchange of experiences and learning points provided a useful foundation for greater collaboration across the region. ClientEarth looks forward to contributing to sustainable finance leadership in the region and strengthening the role of legal and regulatory stewardship in supporting it.