Backgrounder: Final Report of the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance
The effects of climate change are increasingly being felt around the world, and adapting to these impacts will be critical to the future success of Canada's economy and the millions of people who help to keep it strong and growing.
Addressing climate change also means making sure that Canadian businesses are well-positioned to thrive in a low-carbon economy. The emerging field of sustainable finance can help facilitate this transition by channelling capital and financial sector expertise to the innovators who will help build this new economy.
With a strong economy, a solid track record of innovation, and an internationally competitive financial sector, Canada has an opportunity to be a world leader when it comes to sustainable finance and the transformative results it can deliver for the economy and for people.
Recognizing this opportunity, last spring Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister of Finance appointed the Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance to consult with financial market participants on issues related to sustainable finance, including climate-related financial disclosures, and to present the Government with potential next steps to consider. The Expert Panel has engaged with hundreds of stakeholders from the financial sector, industry, governments, regulators, think tanks and academia.
The Expert Panel's final report—Mobilizing Finance for Sustainable Growth—presents 15 recommendations to help scale up financing for the investments Canada will need across all sectors to achieve more sustainable economic growth. These recommendations are grouped under the following three themes:
- Engaging investors in the opportunities presented by Canada's transition to a competitive, low-carbon economy;
- Putting in place foundational elements needed to scale up sustainable finance markets; and,
- Establishing market structures and financial products to finance sustainable activities in key segments of the Canadian economy, including clean technology, oil and gas, infrastructure, building construction and retrofit, and electricity generation and transmission.
In Budget 2019, the Government announced its support for the voluntary international disclosure standards proposed by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures, and a phased approach to their adoption by major Canadian companies. The Government will also encourage federal Crown corporations to adopt these standards where appropriate and relevant to their business activities.
The Government will consider the Expert Panel's recommendations as it continues to assess options to promote sustainable economic growth in Canada going forward.