The National Bank of Ukraine has presented its Sustainable Finance Development Policy 2025, which provides a comprehensive view on creation and further development of the sustainable finance sector in Ukraine.
The document, developed in cooperation with International Finance Corporation (IFC), aims to shape the future landscape of sustainable finance in Ukraine. It contains a detailed description of tasks and new instruments to bring practices applied by Ukrainian financial institutions closer to the best global standards of integrating environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria into financial services.
In particular, the Sustainable Finance Development Policy defines sustainable development as longstanding economic prosperity that is less dependent on using limited resources and exploiting the environment, is more socially inclusive, and includes closely related environmental, social, and economic aspects. The sustainable finance, i.e. integration of ESG criteria into financial services is the key prerequisite of sustainable development. That will be the NBU’s focus until 2025.
“As the impact of climate change on financial stability gains recognition around the globe, the concept of sustainable development is increasingly drawing worldwide attention. It has become a new global paradigm. An effective central bank policy in today’s world is impossible without taking into account the influence of climate-related factors. And it is rather a real need than a fashion trend,” said NBU Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko at the press briefing dedicated to the presentation of the Sustainable Finance Development Policy. “As a result, the NBU has within its mandate taken responsibility to address these challenges and hammered out a sustainable finance development roadmap for Ukraine that specifies a clear set of actions, deliverables, and deadlines. And we take pride in being part of a global push to strengthen sustainable finance and accountability to our planet.”
The Sustainable Finance Development Policy is a comprehensive document allowing financial market participants to take account of the NBU’s vision in their plans for the coming years and prepare in advance for discussions of regulatory changes and their implementation.
In particular, the Sustainable Finance Policy implementation roadmap envisages:
1) implementation of ESG factors of financial institutions’ operation, which will become elements of their corporate governance system: at the beginning of 2022 for banks, and in late 2024 for nonbank financial institutions
2) environmental and social risk management (ESRM). The environmental and social risk management system will be integrated into the overall risk management system of financial institutions: in 2023 for banks, and in late 2024 for NBFIs
3) evaluation and selection of projects for funding, depending on their role in sustainable development. When selecting projects suitable for funding, financial institutions will be required to assess their impact on the environment, economic sustainability, and energy efficiency. They will also have to disclose information on the technical criteria and classifications (taxonomy) of economic activities and ESG metrics that go into the evaluation and selection of such projects, based on world best practices. The NBU will develop recommendations for the disclosure of such information: by the end of 2023 for banks, and by late 2024 for NBFIs
4) mandatory disclosure by financial institutions of the sustainability of their activities. Financial institutions will be required to disclose information about the sustainability of their activities, their impact on the environment, and the reputational and financial risks arising from the environmental impact of their operation. Recommendations for the disclosure of such information will be developed by the NBU by the end of 2023 for banks, and by the end of 2024 for NBFIs. In addition, the regulator will closely monitor compliance with these requirements, starting in early 2024 for banks and in early 2025 for NBFIs.
The development of sustainable finance standards and recommendations for integrated ESG standards into the activities of financial institutions will take place within the framework of the Cooperation Agreement signed by the NBU and IFC on 16 April 2021. This initiative is part of IFC's Green Finance Program and IFC's Promoting Investment through Integrated Environmental, Social, Governance Standards Program in Europe and Central Asia, implemented in partnership with the Austrian Federal Ministry of Finance and the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO.
“IFC welcomes the efforts and the progress of the NBU in advancing sustainable finance and helping Ukraine transform its economy. A sustainable finance roadmap will help private and public sector companies find more opportunities to invest in low-carbon projects, mitigate climate risk, enable climate change adaptation, and align financial flows with the goals of the Paris Agreement,” said Jason Pellmar, IFC’s Regional Manager for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.
According to the IFC estimates, $23 trillion in climate-smart investment opportunities exists in the emerging markets globally by 2030, while in Ukraine the estimate is $73 billion. The development and further implementation of the Sustainable Finance Policy will help Ukraine tap this potential.
For more information about IFC, please, visit www.ifc.org.