[October 18, 2023, Beijing] China’s leading green finance think tank, the Beijing-based Institute of Finance and Sustainability (IFS), unveiled a global initiative on sustainable finance capacity building for emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs), at a conference during the Belt & Road Forum held in Beijing. The Capacity-building Alliance of Sustainable Investment (CASI) aims to provide quality learning programs to support sustainable finance development in the ASEAN, Central Asian, African, the Middle East, and Latin American regions.
Dr. Ma Jun, President of the IFS and former Co-Chair of the G20 Sustainable Finance Working Group (SFWG), highlighted the importance of capacity building to unlocking sustainable capital in the Global South. “The lack of technical capacity is a key impediment to mobilization of private financing for climate actions and sustainability in EMDEs. In 2023, the G20 SFWG made capacity building a top priority and called upon the international community to step up efforts on capacity building and technical assistance for the developing world”, Ma said.
In response to the proposal made by the G20, CASI plans to use more effective and innovative methods to deliver and distribute aggregated knowledge and best practices from member institutions via multiple channels. As of now, major players in the sustainable finance market, including the IFS, Silk Road Fund, HKMA IFFO, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Neuberger Berman, have confirmed their participation in CASI as founding members. 28 other member institutions, including platforms under international organizations, universities, associations, NGOs, think tanks, and professional service providers have joined CASI as knowledge providers and distribution channels. “We expect more organizations to confirm their CASI membership in the coming months,” said Ma.
CASI will offer in-person training and online learning programs to a broad audience including regulators, financial institutions, corporates and services providers from EMEDs, addressing key bottlenecks faced in these markets, such as green taxonomy, sustainability disclosure, financial products, policy incentives, carbon markets, and origination of green projects.
Ma explained further that “CASI is version 2.0 of the IFS-hosted Global Green Finance Leadership Program (GFLP) which, over the past five years, has already organized and supported more than 30 global capacity-building events, covering over 4,500 participants from 70 countries.”
A formal launch event for CASI will be held in Dubai during the annual United Nations climate talks (COP28) in early December. CASI’s day-to-day operation will be managed by its Secretariat, co-hosted by the IFS and the Hong Kong-based Sprinkles Charity Foundation, under the Guidance of a Steering Committee. CASI is set to be operational in early 2024.