Dublin to become base for UN green finance network

Programme aims to get financial centres to put sustainability at heart of business

A UN programme that encourages global financial centres to place “sustainable and green finance” at the heart of their operations and help fight climate change is to establish its European base in Dublin.

The new secretariat will co-ordinate a network of cities committed to the expansion of green and sustainable financial services.

Between 2021 and 2030, according to the European Commission, Europe requires €177 billion in additional yearly investment notably in clean energy to keep the increase in global temperature to well below 2 degrees, as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change.

The global Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) network, founded by the UN environment programme, includes Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Toronto, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Zurich.


The FC4S network's Dublin base will be supported by an investment of €1.5 million by the EIT Climate-KIC agency, a public-private innovation partnership focused on climate innovation to mitigate and adapt to climate change. It has appointed Sustainable Nation Ireland chief executive Stephen Nolan as its strategic adviser.

Following the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the EU undertook to take the lead in implementing the agreement and delivering the transition to a low-carbon, more resource-efficient and more circular economy.

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said he was delighted FC4S network had chosen Dublin as its European base. "Mobilising the world's financial centres is essential to make progress on climate change and sustainable development," he added.

Supply and demand

Mr Nolan said financial centres were the locations where demand for and supply of finance came together. “They are the places where the expansion of green and sustainable financial services will need to be accelerated across banking, capital markets, insurance and investment to fully meet the needs of the Paris climate agreement.”

EIT Climate-KIC chief executive Kirsten Dunlop said transforming the financial sector so it could accelerate transition to a zero-carbon economy "necessitates not just new relationships with the finance sector, but new business models, new ways of accounting, reporting and understanding social and environmental value".

FC4S Europe will develop a common European assessment tool to evaluate climate and sustainability credentials for financial centres. It will also pursue collaboration, raise awareness of sustainability issues and assist with the design and delivery of development plans within financial centres yet to fully embed “the green finance agenda” within their activities.

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times