Financing the green recovery with launch of world’s first Green Finance Education Charter

by | Jun 30, 2020

Click here to watch a short film about the launch of the Green Finance Education Charter.

The UK Government, the Green Finance Institute, and 12 leading financial professional bodies today launch the first Green Finance Education Charter.

The Charter was announced in the UK’s Green Finance Strategy in July 2019 and is a significant commitment from Chartered and professional bodies in the UK and internationally to integrate green finance and sustainability into their core curricula, new qualifications, and the continued professional development of their members.

The Rt Hon John Glen MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury says: “In the Green Finance Strategy we published last year, we committed to a Green Finance Education Charter, and I am proud to be helping to launch that today. The finance sector has a vitally important role to play in combating climate change, and by ensuring those working in the industry get the right training, we can ensure green finance and sustainability is central to our work now and in the future.”

The launch of the Charter also forms an important part of the UK Government’s ‘Pathway to COP26’, a series of events leading up to the global climate summit in Glasgow in November 2021.

The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth says“As more companies step up their work to tackle climate change, we need our banks and investors to be as well versed in green finance as they are in other financial products.

“The Green Finance Education Charter sets a clear path for finance professionals and our international partners to achieving this, and help us achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

The Charter asks financial services professional bodies to commit, by the end of this year, to:

  • Engage members on issues related to climate change and environmental issues, with the aim of raising their profile within each profession;
  • Curate, develop and promote relevant resources to members on green and sustainable finance;
  • Encourage the adoption of relevant global and national standards, frameworks and guidance, including the Principles for Responsible Investment, Banking and Insurance and the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD);

On an ongoing basis they are asked to commit to:

  • Engage with policymakers, regulators, researchers and practitioners to identify and promote impactful and effective best practices in green and sustainable finance, and support national strategies;
  • Collaborate with signatories to the Charter, and with other domestic and international counterparts to enhance and promote the integration of green and sustainable finance into academic and professional programmes of education and training;
  • Work with the Green Finance Institute to engage employers and encourage commitment to and take up of green and sustainable finance programmes of initial and continuing professional development;
  • Report annually on progress in mainstreaming the principles and practice of green and sustainable finance.

In the UK alone, financial Chartered and professional bodies represent more than a million accountants, actuaries, bankers, financial analysts, treasurers, risk managers and other professionals who are fundamental to the definition and integration of both professional and technical standards across the financial system.

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute says: “Green is one of the most exciting, creative and fast-growing areas of finance and the skills required to drive the agenda will be increasingly sought after as the global economy shifts to net-zero carbon.  The Green Finance Institute is pleased to support the financial services professional bodies in providing their members the opportunity to build their skills and play their part in financing the green transition.”

Recognising the increasing need for the finance sector globally to develop new capabilities through relevant education and training in green finance principles and practice, Simon Thompson, Chief Executive, Chartered Banker Institute says: “To mainstream green and sustainable finance, we must also mainstream green finance knowledge and skills throughout the banking, finance and professional services sectors.  Our world-leading professional bodies have key roles to play in developing and embedding the standards, norms, values and practices to form the future shape of finance and developing the capability and capacity of these sectors in the UK, and globally.

“The Green Finance Education Charter sets out our collective commitment to incorporating green and sustainable finance principles and practice into our education and training programmes for professionals worldwide.  Over time, millions of current and future professionals will develop their knowledge of green and sustainable finance – and play their part in leading the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon world.”


Financial services professional bodies interested in signing up to the Green Finance Education Charter should contact the Chartered Banker Institute:  [email protected]

Watch the video for more information on the Green Finance Education Charter 

Media enquiries: [email protected]

Green Finance Education Charter signatories and additional quotes

Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) says: “Working with related professions, accountants have a valuable and intrinsic part to play in delivering the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. That’s why ACCA’s thrilled to be part of this coalition to launch the Green Finance Education Charter. ACCA commits to continuing to ensure green finance is an integral part of our world class qualification and members’ CPD. After all, it’s through professional education that accountants and their membership bodies like ACCA can support the transition to a low-carbon world.”

J Bruce Cartwright, CEO, ICAS says: “ICAS is proud to be a signatory to the Green Finance Education Charter alongside other leading UK professional bodies. We recognise the key role of the accountancy profession in helping to deliver on the UK’s Green Finance Strategy and are committed to playing our part in developing the skills and capabilities of our trained professionals as part of our contribution towards the transition to a sustainable economy, the UN SDGs and the Paris Agreement on Climate Action.

“We believe that it is vital for us as an organisation to lead by example in this space which is why our 2019 Annual Review reported on how ICAS is aligning its activities with the achievement of the UN SDGs as part of the global sustainable development agenda.

“COVID-19 has highlighted the delicate balance between our economy and the environment and therefore we have an opportunity to create a greener, more resilient economy and a fairer, more inclusive society.”

Matthew Connell, Director, Policy and Public Affairs, Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) says: “Climate change affects every aspect of our sector – not only operationally, but in terms of how we assess risks, pay claims and advise our clients. For the Chartered Insurance Institute, signing the Green Finance Charter builds on twenty-five years of work on climate change, including becoming a founding member of the insurance sector’s ClimateWise initiative in 2007.  Professionalism has always been about flourishing commercially by thinking about the long term and behaving in an ethical and sustainable way. The work we have set out to do under the Green Finance Charter will help make these disciplines even more relevant for professionals in the 21st century.”

Simon Culhane, Chartered FCSI, CISI CEO says: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting this initiative, an important step in acknowledging our profession’s commitment to education across the broad field of responsibility and sustainability, including green finance. This supports our members worldwide in bringing the drive, energy, integrity and skills needed to deliver the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and to establish a low-carbon world. The Charter aligns with the momentum already underway in our learning and qualifications programmes to ensure our members and future candidates can help build a planet fit for our children’s children to thrive in – and pass on”.

Will Goodhart, Chief Executive, CFA Society of the United Kingdom says: “At CFA UK, we are acutely aware of the global finance professions’ collective responsibility to deliver the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Investment professionals can and will perform a critical role in the transition to a low-carbon world, but need the skills and knowledge to do so. CFA UK is pleased be playing its part.”

Michael Izza, ICAEW Chief Executive says: “This is a decade of transition for business and Chartered Accountants should use their positions as trusted advisers to encourage companies to build sustainability into their business models and help fight climate change.

“Signing this charter affirms our commitment to training our members and students to understand the benefits of green finance, and change their ways of working to build a better future for us all.”

William J. Kelly, CEO, CAIA Association says: “A sustainable future requires sustainable finance, but years of vague terminology and wildly varying approaches have for too long resulted in ‘sustainable investing’ meaning different things to different constituencies. Just this year, when we issued our own Call to Action for the alternative investment industry, number one on our list was asking the space to commit to education. We’re very pleased to be a part of this education-driven effort and to be committing our time and resources to bringing our members to the table so they can better understand and implement the best practices needed to make sustainability central in their work while being unified in their approach.”

Stephen Mann, CEO at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) says: “The IFoA is proud to become a signatory to the Green Finance Education Charter. Actuaries have an key role to play in promoting an understanding of climate risk and of the importance of Green Finance, particularly as we look to it as a means of rebuilding the economy post the Covid-19 crisis. We consider the Charter to be a useful tool in helping us to empower our members to fulfil this role.”

Chris McHugh, Director, Centre for Sustainable Finance, The London Institute of Banking & Finance, says: “Sustainability isn’t a ‘nice to have’ or an add on – the challenges we face as a society have never been so clear or so urgent. The finance sector has a critical role to play and the emphasis the Charter places on making sustainability a central focus is absolutely vital in our view. As educators, we must do everything we can to support the sector in developing its approaches. We will do all we can to deliver on these commitments and to support our global community of students, alumni and members to do the same.”

Caroline Stockmann, Chief Executive, Association of Corporate Treasurers says: “We believe the private sector has an important part to play in helping reduce carbon emissions as part of a wider focus on sustainability.  In terms of stakeholder management, boards are taking green finance more and more seriously – COVID-19 has perhaps even accelerated this trend.  As the professional body for treasurers, we need to ensure our members have the tools and information needed to support their organisations in transitioning to a low carbon economy, and the ACT has made this a focus over the last three years, through our CPD, events and qualifications.”