Building on a decade of work by UNEP and OECD, among others, the CEC’s work on finance and the environment focuses on exploring established and innovative ways of involving the financial service sector in the environmental agenda. Such involvement takes various forms. It can include greater awareness among credit-risk managers about environment risks and liabilities, interest among investors about opportunities in the environmental area, and more specific project finance opportunities involving the environment.
In New York in 2003, the CEC in collaboration with UNEP-FI held the second North American meeting on Financing and the Environment: Disclosure of Environmental Information. At this meeting, experts discussed the disclosure of financially material environmental information in three environmentally sensitive sectors—oil and gas, electric utilities, and pulp and paper—as well as preliminary research on the mining sector. These presentations showed that although the potential bottom-line impacts of proposed environmental regulations are highly differentiated across companies, most companies are not reporting on these potential impacts. In addition, while companies with less exposure than their competitors to the impacts of proposed environmental regulations could benefit from disclosing, these companies do not disclose more than others.