New Asia Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“ASIFMA”) Report on Data Challenges and Opportunities for ESG and Sustainable Finance in APAC

22 February 2021, Banking & Finance, Newsletter by Simon Deane, Randy Lam

ASIFMA, together with the Future of Sustainable Data Alliance, published a paper entitled “Data Challenges and Opportunities for ESG and Sustainable Finance in Asia Pacific” – a result of a year-long review of sustainability data challenges facing the industry in the Asia Pacific. The paper states that ESG-based performance, both in terms of investment inflows and asset performance, has been positive during the pandemic, and many regulators and investors have recommitted to sustainable development, with greater focus on systemic risks related to climate and social concerns.

ASIFMA offers the following eight key recommendations, critical to supporting and enabling further development of green and sustainable markets in Asia: 

 (a)

Greater convergence towards a principles-based global (or at least regional) taxonomy

(b) 

Higher and more consistent corporate disclosure standards between jurisdictions and sectors 

(c) 

Encouragement of higher standards of analysis, with incentives for more holistic and robust approaches to ESG measurement and analysis 

(d) 

Policy and regulation to support innovation and technologies that enable ESG and sustainable finance capabilities 

(e) 

Focus on education and skills to support ESG and sustainable finance capability

(f) 

Higher standards and accountability for ESG ratings providers, potentially including regulation, and clear and harmonised requirements for product disclosure 

(g) 

Harmonisation between ESG standards and frameworks such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, and policy on climate change and bank supervision at systemic level, including on climate risk

(h) 

Ongoing partnership and dialogue between the public and private sectors, as well as between stakeholders such as companies and investors on disclosure and reporting standards

The paper is accessible here: link

The ASIFMA press release in relation to the paper is accessible here: link