Practices of Signatories
At the request of the minister of the environment, the Central Environment Council’s Expert Committee on Environment and Finance (chaired by Takejiro Sueyoshi, special advisor to the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative) conducted deliberations on how best to handle the relationship between the environment and the financial sector in Japan. In the summer of 2010 it presented its conclusions in the report “Towards Green Finance: The New Role for the Financial Sector in Building a Low-Carbon Society.” In the interest of encouraging wider use of green finance in Japan, the report included a policy recommendation on formulating principles for environmental financial action.
In response to a call from Sueyoshi based on this recommendation, a wide range of financial institutions that approved of the proposal voluntarily gathered in a Drafting Committee. The committee included members from a broad selection of financial subsectors, such as financial holding companies, banks, trust banks, cooperative financial institutions, securities firms, insurance companies, and asset management companies. The Ministry of the Environment took on the role of the committee’s secretariat.
The Drafting Committee held a total of seven meetings from September 2010 to October 2011, and with the number of participants increasing, they became scenes of lively discussion. Active deliberations also went forward on sector-specific guidelines in working groups for several sectors. The drafting process culminated with the completion of the Principles for Financial Action for the 21st Century.
Subjects Deliberated in the Drafting Committee Meetings
- First meeting (Sept. 2, 2010): The objective of drafting principles
- Second meeting (Oct. 21, 2010): The course of draft preparation
- Third meeting (Dec. 21, 2010): Composition of the principles
- Fourth meeting (Feb. 22, 2011): Content of the principles
- Fifth meeting (June 13, 2011): Content of the principles
- Sixth meeting (Sept. 15, 2011): The principles, guidelines, and operational provisions
- Seventh meeting (October 4, 2011): Adoption of the principles and guidelines
Note: In addition, the following working groups held 17 meetings: General/Follow-up, Deposit/Loan/Leasing, Asset Management/Securities/Investment Banking, and Insurance.