GFSC represented at COP15 – UN Biodiversity Conference

WILLIAM MASON, the director-general of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, has taken part in a Canadian-led panel on ‘Business investing for biodiversity and climate objectives’ at COP15 – UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal. The conference saw governments from around the world coming together to try to agree on a new set of goals to halt and reverse nature loss.

Left to right: William Mason, director-general of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, Tiffany Moeller, commission staff officer, and Steff Glover, head of strategy and sustainable finance at Guernsey Finance.
Left to right: William Mason, director-general of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, Tiffany Moeller, commission staff officer, and Steff Glover, head of strategy and sustainable finance at Guernsey Finance.

The panel explored the potential for private finance to invest in protecting nature for biodiversity and climate objectives in support of the proposed new Global Biodiversity Framework3.

‘To address the human existential challenge posed by continuing nature and especially biodiversity loss, private investment is desperately required to supplement insufficient public funds. The key to progress is to develop and fund nature positive projects which offer a genuine financial return,’ he said.

His attendance at the panel followed the GFSC's recent launch of its natural capital fund framework, as part of Guernsey’s growing sustainable funds regime. The natural capital fund regime offers a regulatory designation for funds to help channel investment into biodiversity and natural capital projects that make a positive contribution and/or significantly reduce harm to the natural world. The intention is to provide environmentally-conscious investors with assurance that their capital is deployed in efforts to promote the protection and recovery of the Earth’s natural environment.

At an earlier COP15 event, Mr Mason spoke at the World Biodiversity Summit, working with Guernsey Finance, to explain the contribution the Bailiwick is making to grow environmental finance at a session entitled, ‘Business and Finance for Biodiversity: Closing the Nature Finance Gap.’

The natural capital fund framework complements the Bailiwick’s existing regulated Guernsey green fund regime, which now channels more than £5.3bn into green investments. Together the Guernsey green fund and natural capital fund regimes provide the Bailiwick with a suite of sustainability designations based on international environmental

standards.

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