Expert panel on sustainable finance

The right finance and investment structures can help fight climate change and build the low carbon economy. The Government of Canada has set up an expert panel. It will engage with business experts about investments that benefit the environment. The panel will provide advice to the Government.

For inquiries and suggestions, please contact ec.sfep-pefd.ec@canada.ca.

Panel members

Tiff Macklem

Andrew (Andy) Chisholm

Kim Thomassin

Barbara Zvan

Terms of reference

Context

Financial markets play a role in Canada’s transition to a low carbon economy by providing the investments and financing needed to develop and deploy low-carbon technologies, business processes, and infrastructure. Sustainable finance initiatives could help shift investors’ capital allocation decisions towards assets that are less carbon-intensive and more climate-resilient.

At the request of the G20, the chair of the Financial Stability Board, Mark Carney, commissioned an industry-led Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to develop recommendations for how firms can put forward more consistent and comparable disclosures of climate-related financial risks and opportunities. The final report and recommendations from this Task Force were released in June 2017.

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) are assessing the TCFD’s recommendations as part of a broader review of the state of climate-related risk disclosures in Canada. The CSA recently completed public consultations on this issue and have published a report on their findings.

The Government of Canada supports the objectives of the Task Force and wishes to support its conclusions appropriately, recognizing that in Canada, the regulation of disclosures to investors is largely an area of provincial responsibility.

Canada’s financial markets are modern and sophisticated, and actors consider policy signals, such as a price on carbon pollution. The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, adopted by First Ministers in December 2016, commits all Canadian jurisdictions to introduce carbon pollution pricing in 2018.  This policy signal carries tangible factors for financial markets that could change risk-reward profiles for investors and increase incentives to allocate capital to sustainable projects. By lowering the relative costs of projects that reduce emissions (e.g., by reducing carbon pollution pricing liabilities), a price on carbon pollution provides a means of increasing relative profitability, and in turn access to financing, for low-carbon projects.

At the same time, there is merit in investigating if there are market failures that, for example, make it difficult for investors to value climate risks related to projects and assets, leading to a misallocation of capital. This underscores the complementary importance of timely, consistent and comparable climate-related disclosures from both the suppliers and users of capital in the Canadian economy.

Role of the expert panel

On behalf of the Ministers of Environment and Climate Change (ECCC) and Finance, consult with Canada’s financial market participants on issues related to sustainable finance, including climate-related disclosures.

Work with the private sector and the federal government, in collaboration with securities commissions, to promote awareness among Canadian financial market participants of climate-related risks and to advance the recommendations of the TCFD. Where feasible, engage industry participants to dialogue on private sector-led approaches and collaboration or through private-public leadership.

Draft a report to Ministers outlining:

  • global trends in sustainable finance, including climate-related risk disclosure
  • roles and responsibilities for sustainable finance in Canada
  • opportunities and challenges relating to sustainable finance and climate-related risk disclosure in Canada
  • recommendations of potential next steps the Government of Canada may wish to consider within its area of jurisdiction
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