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ICAEW joins the movement to green finance professions

2 July 2020: Leading financial professional bodies including ICAEW have launched the first Green Finance Education Charter, an initiative designed to boost awareness and training in green finance and sustainability.

As part of the new charter, bodies representing millions of finance professionals in the UK and internationally have committed to integrating green finance and sustainability into their core curricula, new qualifications and the continued professional development of members.

In the UK alone, professional bodies representing more than a million accountants, actuaries, bankers, risk managers and other finance professionals have signed up to the charter, which was originally announced in the UK’s Green Finance Strategy in July 2019.

By the end of 2020, the charter asks professional bodies to commit 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).

And on an ongoing basis: 

  • 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.

The charter’s launch is 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.

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Commenting on the charter John Glen, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said he was “proud to be helping” the launch.

“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,” said Glen.

Adam Birt, ICAEW’s Head of Qualifications, Strategy and Development said the Institute is “proud to support this charter and have already demonstrated our commitment to developing the skills of our future chartered accountants through our ACA qualification.

“Sustainability is embedded across the syllabus and reflected in the approach to achieving the qualification,” continued Birt. “We support this by continuing to increase access to the ACA qualification, through delivering our learning materials digitally and enabling our students to take their exams by computer and also remotely, reducing our impact on the environment.”