• As ESG has become mainstream, it has encountered a backlash for not delivering on a range of outcomes promised across responsible finance
  • Even as this backlash against ESG greenwashing grows, the institutional foundations for a better future of responsible finance are being built
  • ESG has become too complex to expect…

  • A survey by HSBC of issuers and investors in the MENAT region and globally found 44% of regional investors saw their adoption of ESG slowed by a lack of qualified staff
  • Regulators in the region have been less active in providing structured guidance such as taxonomies to help bridge the…

  • A new Climate Bonds discussion paper provides an overview of common characteristics to define a transition and sustainability-linked financing standards
  • The discussion paper excludes consideration of how performance-linked financing affects incentives, which we review using a social sustainability-linked financing example
  • The incentive problems in sustainability-linked financing such as what is…


  • Several promising developments in responsible finance are occurring across a range of Islamic markets
  • The lead up to COP 26 has created momentum in the area of climate change, but Islamic markets are pursing action more broadly across ESG
  • Financial institutions, investors and regulators in Islamic markets should avoid taking…

  • One outcome of the recent Islamic Development Bank meetings was announcement of the first of what could become a flood of ‘reprogramming’ requests by member countries in response to accelerating climate change impacts
  • Reprogramming funding towards resilience and mitigation will help make the Islamic Development Bank a more important green…

  • BlackRock’s study on behalf of the European Commission dug deep into how banks were responding to ESG risks
  • Divisions remain between how regulators, financial institutions & civil society view banks’ ESG priority setting process
  • The most important need for banks to change is their perspective so they begin to look…


  • European Banking Supervision signals that the clock is ticking on their integration of climate & environment risk
  • Regulatory warning of consequences for ‘outliers’ who don’t integrate climate risk have similar messages internationally
  • Regulators expect action even amidst uncertainty, and financial institutions are expected to find ways to act with the…

  • An OECD white paper investigates some approaches to transition finance to draw some conclusions about where common ground exists
  • The taxonomy approach to ‘labeled’ bonds may be insufficient for transition finance, and creating alternative frameworks will be very important for Islamic markets
  • The interplay between climate science and more localized…

  • The IPCC report presents a stark view of the physical risks that have now become inevitable, and financial institutions need to be prepared
  • The climate data needed for financial institutions to prepare may not be widely available for institutions of all sizes, especially in emerging and developing markets
  • Malaysia’s Joint…

  • A new UNEP FI and the PRI report outlines how asset managers and asset owners should think through their legal duties to beneficiaries and how it affects their ability to achieve positive impact
  • The report is the next layer building on the Freshfields report of 2005 and the Fiduciary Duty…

Blake Goud

Linking responsible finance & Islamic finance. CEO, @RFIFoundation.

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