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Legal readiness for climate finance: private sector opportunities

Report and findings of roundtable held at King’s College London, 25 January 2019
Environment Sustainable development Financial services industry Banks and banking Sustainability Investments Corporate social responsibility

This report summarises the agenda and findings of the Legal Readiness for Climate Finance: Private Sector Opportunities roundtable co-convened by King’s College London, UN Environment, and Legal Response International. It is part of an ongoing King’s College London/UN Environment partnership to stimulate collaborations and mutual learning between public and private stakeholders in developing and developed countries for transformational change.

This roundtable is a sister event to Climate Finance Law: Legal Readiness for Climate Finance which was co-convened in March 2018 by King’s College London and UN Environment (see Bowman and Steenmans 2018). It was aimed at the public sector and focused on experiences of Kenya and Mexico as case-studies. Delegates at that workshop subsequently indicated a strong desire to engage with the private sector, especially lawyers, financiers, and investors.

Thus, this 2019 roundtable embodies the next step in providing a forum in which public sector actors and private practitioners can learn from each other to increase collaboration and to strengthen national law and regulation to enable financial opportunities at scale.

The roundtable was held on 25 January 2019 at King’s College London. It comprised 26 invited experts from the UK, Europe, and Kenya who are situated in the private sector (legal, financial, consulting), the public sector (central banks, financial regulators, multilateral financial institutions), specialist nongovernment organisations (legal and financial); and academia.

Roundtable delegates shared knowledge and experiences with the aims of:

  • Identifying business opportunities alongside risks for practitioners in this space;
  • Identifying concrete actions to improve the legal and regulatory enabling environment for private sector investment and implementation of NDC, Paris, and SDG objectives;
  • Identifying emerging criteria that help central banks and other regulators engage the finance sector in their own jurisdictions;
  • Institutional learning between participants from different sectors and countries; and
  • Creating and shaping a new global community of decision-makers in Climate Finance Law.

In order to tease out and share learnings about the legal and regulatory dimensions of climate finance, the event was structured around three main themes:

  1. The regulators’ role in sustainable finance leadership;
  2. Designing a toolkit for law-makers and regulators; and
  3. Opportunities for mainstreaming climate finance, especially in developing countries.

And it comprised two components:

  1. Full-day private roundtable as a forum for dynamic discussion under the Chatham House Rule of non-attribution. Lead speakers gave short presentations to kick off full group discussion and debate.
  2. Evening public event designed to bring awareness of key issues to a non-specialist public audience. A panel of roundtable delegates presented on the regulators’ role, designing a legal and regulatory toolkit, and mainstreaming green finance, which was followed by audience Q&A.


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