Russian businesses are going through a transformation, adapting their missions and tactics to the sustainable development agenda, which accelerates the development of the Russian green finance market. New ESG projects and initiatives emerge in the Russian business world; corporate priorities and approaches to partnership agreements are evolving. All these changes open up a range of opportunities for business dialogue in the domestic and foreign markets.
Climate change remains one of the main challenges in Russia, which also intersects with the country's environmental situation and the transformation of economic positions in the market. As of today, the average annual temperature in Russia is rising 2.8 times faster than in other countries, which causes fires and floods, which we are struggling with this summer season. These issues are reflected not in the public opinion alone. Since 2016, Russia has been gradually creating and strengthening the green finance market. This involves the creation of expert working groups, committees and thematic programmes, collection of analytical data, publication of guidance documents and placement of the first green bonds on the Moscow Stock Exchange in 2018. In addition to establishing an interdepartmental working group coordinated by Russia's Ministry of Economic Development, with VEB.RF as its methodological centre, Russia has already set the goals and main directions of the country's sustainable development (including green initiatives). This October, the Government is expected to present a road map for reducing the carbon intensity of the Russian economy by 2050. In the near future, these steps will help create the required economic incentives for transitioning to environmental standards. Russia's green finance market is currently estimated at around RUB 94 billion.
A communication platform of the Vedomosti business periodical aims to expand and update the conversation about sustainable development and continue the Sustainable Development project. The special project titled Green Finance Market: Russia's Sustainable Future will gather the leaders of the Russian business community, leading experts and financial analysts to discuss current issues in the responsible finance market, new green instruments and top case studies. What does the future of the Russian green finance market look like and how can new responsible instruments help achieve the aims of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030?
Representatives of government agencies, top managers of major Russian businesses, investment directors, senior financial managers, financial analysts and experts, representatives of national UNGC networks, heads of business associations working towards sustainable development, representatives of public and non-profit organisations, industry-specific media outlets.
9:30 am – 10:10 am. Participant registration and morning coffee
10:10 am – 10:30 am. The opening of the business meeting. Foresight session: expert speechesThe business part of the event will start with a foresight session involving speeches from Russian experts on sustainable development, who will outline the main problems in the area. How is the national green finance market integrated into the global concept of sustainable development and what does it mean for Russia? What steps should be taken to avoid any mistakes and overcomplication? What kind of growth points should the new green finance framework rely on? What kind of recommendations for the development and use of green instruments currently exist in Russia? What are green and adaptation projects? What criteria should they meet and where do they belong? What kind of events will continue the current market regulation policy and what should businesses prepare for?
10:30 am – 12:15 pm. Panel session. The architecture of Russia's sustainable futureThe global agenda is shaping a new ecosystem of responsible finance based on ESG principles. The green finance market is developing at the intersection of financial and environmental processes, with a high interest in fine-tuning the regulatory and conceptual policy at the national level. Russian business leaders are actively adapting to the sustainability vector, reflecting SDG-oriented approaches in their business strategies and initiating green projects that mitigate human impact on the environment. As an important support mechanism for financial, investment and contractual relations, the financial sector of the economy is also accelerating its processes when it comes to sustainable development and offers the necessary tools for all green market players to achieve their objectives.
Topics for discussion
- The necessary measures for regulators to incentivise ESG projects: what do businesses want?
- The green market prospects for issuers and borrowers. Economic opportunities vs. project costs.
- Green bonds with low interest rates. Are Russian and western investors ready?
- How effective is ESG-powered marketing? Image value and investor loyalty.
12:15 pm – 12:30 pm. Special speech
12:30 pm – 1:00 pm. Break
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm. Climate workshop
2:30 pm. Afterparty