France’s Financial (Eco)system: Improving the integration of sustainability factors

United Nations Environment Programme (2015)

In the run-up of the COP21, much international attention is focused on France. While mainly related to climate change negotiations, this creates an opportunity to take a broader look at French domestic policies and practices on sustainability. This report presents the French financial system and draws lessons from the French ongoing experience in improving the integration of sustainability issues that could be shared with other countries. The present report summarizes and analyses the key initiatives and dynamics at stake in France. It focuses on both the climate-related issues that have recently received significant attention and the development of broader Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) issues over the past twenty years. The dynamics that have shaped the last two decades have both led to and been influenced by the emergence of an ‘ecosystem’ of commercial, public and non-profit actors and experts involved in the appropriation and integration of sustainability issues across the sector. Using the framework of analysis presented in the UNEP Inquiry global report, this case study examines the landscape of actors, private initiatives and public policy that has driven the emergence of this ecosystem and helped foster capacity building and the acquisition of expertise among sectoral actors.

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