A major United Nations programme that encourages global financial centres to put sustainable and green finance at its heart and help fight climate change, is to establish its European base in Ireland.

The European secretariat will coordinate a network of pan-European cities committed to the expansion of green and sustainable financial services. The global Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) network includes London, Frankfurt, Paris, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Zurich and Dublin.

The Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) network, supported by an investment of €1.5m over three-years from Europe’s EIT Climate-KIC agency, has chosen Dublin as the base for the network’s European hub.

According to the European Commission, between 2021 to 2030 Europe requires €177 billion in additional yearly investment, notably in clean energy, to keep the increase in global temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius, as agreed in Paris in 2015.

Following the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the European Union pledged to take the lead in implementing this historic agreement and delivering the transition to a low-carbon, more resource efficient, and more circular economy.

Welcoming the announcement of the new Dublin hub, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue today said: “Mobilising the world’s financial centres is essential to make progress on climate change and sustainable development. I am delighted that the UN founded FC4S network has chosen Dublin as its European base, supported by EIT Climate-KIC.”

Working with market participants from across Europe including partners in the U.K., France, Germany and Switzerland, FC4S Europe will coordinate pan-European initiatives and campaigns around green and sustainable finance.

Commenting, Stephen Nolan said:“Financial centres are the locations where the demand for and supply of finance come together. They are the places where the expansion of green and sustainable financial services will need to be accelerated across banking, capital markets, insurance and investment in order to fully meet the needs of the Paris climate agreement.”

The FC4S Europe network will be tasked with developing a common European assessment tool to evaluate climate and sustainability credentials for financial centres. It will also pursue collaboration, raise awareness of sustainability issues and assist with the design and delivery of development plans within financial centres yet to fully embed the green finance agenda within their activities.

Welcoming the establishment of the Irish hub, Europe’s EIT Climate-KIC Chief Executive, Kirsten Dunlop said: “Transforming the financial sector so that it can accelerate transition to a zero-carbon economy necessitates not just new relationships with the finance sector, but new business models, new ways of accounting, reporting and understanding social and environmental value. That is why EIT Climate-KIC is supporting the work of the UN founded FC4S network and the establishment of its European hub coordinated from Dublin.”

Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UN Environment said: “We hope this hub will help catalyse and accelerate the changes we need in the financial sector. We need to get the message out far and wide that sustainability is what the markets want, and that the solutions for making the shift are there.”

As part of the annual EU EIT Climate-KIC Climate Innovation Summit, FC4S Europe will be formally launched on the 7th November 2018.