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International Finance March 2009 Update

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In the past few months, the International Finance team at WWF-US has been active in China and in supporting WWF-US efforts to promote more sustainable commodity production and trade.

China

Our work in China is supporting WWF-China’s efforts to engage with Chinese financial regulators and banks as they gear up to address more sustainable lending decisions.

  • We are working with the Ministry of Environmental Protection to create a range of industry sector case studies that describe the business case and good practices for sustainability in sectors such as pulp and paper, mining and cement. 
  • We have partnered with the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) in a report that reviews progress in the evolution of sustainability in the Chinese Financial Sector (an English language summary is available here).
  • We are also working with Chinese banks (including Industrial Bank – China’s first adopter of the Equator Principles) and a range of international financial institutions (ECAs, EPFIs and development finance institutions) to develop capacity-building tools and training materials that will support rapid, consistent and effective adoption of more sustainable environmental management in the Chinese financial sector.

Commodities

One of the key challenges emerging in the food and agribusiness sector is the urgent need to support rapid scale-up of more sustainable production at industrial scales (i.e. moving beyond niche markets to address production impacts of mainstream producers and trade).  Since finance plays such an important (if varied) role in food and agribusiness, there are significant opportunities to enable more sustainable production through leverage that can be applied in loans and investment.  WWF-US and other parts of the WWF Network are working with banks and other financial institutions to develop tools (investment checklists) and other materials that can help banks make more informed decisions about investment risks and rewards.

We will be launching a commodity finance briefing note in 2009, and if you wish to receive online copies of the note please contact us at InternationalFinance@wwfus.org.