Guernsey Finance Head of Strategy and Sustainable Finance Stephanie Glover recently headed to Dublin to attend the United Nations Financial Centres for Sustainability Annual General Meeting (AGM) and proudly signed the UN Gender Charter, confirming Guernsey Finance’s commitment to both sustainability and gender equality.  
The United Nations Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) is an initiative that brings together financial centres from around the world to harness the power of financial institutions in advancing global sustainable development goals.  
Here, Stephanie shares her thoughts on the trip. 
At the AGM, discussions revolved around the critical role of financial centres in mobilising capital for sustainable projects and into developing economies. Members heard from both Haoliang Xu, Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Mark Halle, Senior Adviser to the UN FC4S who discussed how we now have a solid foundation for sustainable finance with taxonomies, disclosure regimes and transparency standards. But there needs to be an increased and consistent focus on how developed nations can build incentives and financial instruments to support the flow of capital necessary to developing countries. Nature finance, green technology and transition finance at COP28 also stood out as core focuses for many of the centres.
Guernsey Finance, through its involvement, demonstrated its commitment to these ideals and its active role in fostering positive change on a global scale. By collaborating with like-minded organisations and nations, Guernsey is reinforcing its status as a responsible and forward-thinking financial centre.
We were delighted to update FC4S members and the UNDP Under-Secretary-General on the key updates from Guernsey in sustainable finance including:
Nature The increasing focus on nature, both through raising awareness at Sustainable Finance Week 2023 – discussing scaling up on nature financing, nature regulations and encouraging a greater understanding of the associated risks and investment opportunities. But also, the product launches in Guernsey from our regulator – the Natural Capital Fund regime, which follows international criteria such as the Global Biodiversity Framework agreed in the Kunming-Montreal COP. 
Regulations  Our regulator is a member of both the TNFD Forum and the NGFS and so has been working closely on the development of sustainable finance regulations. It has just announced a consultation with local industry on the ISSB application in Guernsey.Our regulator also previously updated the Code of Corporate Governance to include consideration of climate change, and as of October, all regulated businesses in Guernsey have now reported their climate risk. 
Local sustainability journey Guernsey has now approved the island’s Electricity Strategy which agrees the direction of Guernsey’s sustainable future electricity supply. 
From updates from the global members of the UN FC4S it is clear there is a strong emphasis on skills and talent development, demonstrating how the rise in sustainability related regulations and disclosures is driving centres to upskill, particularly the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). It’s great to see Guernsey’s commitment to upskilling sustainable finance talent through the launch of a new education series orchestrated by the Sustainable Finance Guernsey Council and the Guernsey Training Agency University Centre, following a UN FC4S survey to Guernsey industry. Sustainable finance education has also been encouraged by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission at our recent Sustainable Finance Week. 
Guernsey Finance was also proud to support the launch of the UNDP FC4S Gender Finance Charter, attended by Irish Minister of State Jennifer Carroll MacNeill. The Gender Charter includes 10 principles to champion female leadership and representation in sustainable finance. We are looking forward to sharing the charter with the members of the Sustainable Finance Guernsey Council and embedding our commitments to the working practices at Guernsey Finance. 
Through the charter, Guernsey has committed to:Integrate gender equality and other diversity requirements into stakeholder relations: introducing gender-related requirements for suppliers, considering measuring and tracking gender composition in programs and events (co)organized by financial centres, and ensuring women’s voices are heard in programs and events.Foster broader market action on gender equality: establishing spaces to share gender-finance best practices regularly, supporting or developing initiatives aimed at improving the gender balance in the finance sector, and disseminating positive role models for women in the financial industry.
By endorsing this charter, Guernsey Finance demonstrates, alongside the other 25 signatories, its commitment to fostering a more diverse and inclusive work environment within the island’s finance sector. 
As the world continues to evolve, it is essential for financial centres to adapt and contribute positively to the challenges and opportunities presented. Guernsey Finance’s recent actions in sustainable finance and gender equality highlight the understanding of these dynamics and its readiness to lead the way. These actions proudly position Guernsey as a global role model for the financial industry, showing that success can be achieved with a conscience.

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