Following the recent announcement from the European Union of its intent to establish an international platform to consolidate global work on sustainable finance, the European Commission on Thursday convened a global conference on the topic, inviting expert speakers from around the world. Simon Zadek, senior advisor to UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, appeared on Mr. Steiner’s behalf, speaking about fintech on a panel whose other members included the founder of M-Pesa, the deputy secretary general of OECD, a member of the executive board of the central bank of Germany, the CEO of Latvia’s SEB Bank, and an executive from Better Finance.
The European Union’s Fintech Action Plan , released last year, mentions sustainability in the introduction but has the opportunity to go farther: to connect the specific actions recommended in the plan to the goal of sustainability. The discussion during the fintech panel affirmed that fintech and sustainable finance are two major trends changing the face of financial systems, and that the two have to be considered in relation to each other. Although there was general agreement that such joint consideration is not yet happening routinely, panelists agreed that there are, in fact, many use cases at the intersection of fintech and sustainable finance, and that these need to be mapped more effectively.