GFANZ opens Japan chapter ahead of G7

Supporting financial institutions in the country to decarbonise

The Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ) is opening a chapter of its organisation in Japan next month to support local financial institutions transitioning to net zero.

Part of GFANZ’s broader Asia-Pacific network launched last year, the Japan chapter will be headquartered in Tokyo and be advised by Masamichi Kono, former deputy secretary general of the OECD and MUFG bank senior adviser, who will also join the GFANZ Apac advisory board.

Kono said: “Transitioning the global economy to net-zero emissions requires shared vision and collaboration. I am excited to support the convening of GFANZ Japan members across all sectors of the financial system through the GFANZ Japan Chapter and to help develop the chapter as an effective platform for collaboration and innovation on net zero.”

As well as helping institutions decarbonise the sectors they finance, the chapter will support firms’ work with relevant public and private stakeholders on other policies and initiatives necessary to deliver a just transition.

The chapter was formed ahead of the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Summit in Niigata, coinciding with Japan’s G7 presidency.

With more members of GFANZ than any other Apac country, Japan “has a strong track record of climate finance leadership”, according to the Alliance, having updated its target emissions reduction in 2021 to 46% by 2030 from 2013 levels, an increase from the previous target of 26%.

Japan was also an early adopter of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, accounting for 30% of all TCFD supporters globally.

“When Japanese companies, financial institutions, and policymakers embraced climate-related financial disclosures, and specifically the TCFD recommendations, it had a transformational effect on ensuring climate risk was treated as financial risk,” said Mary Schapiro, vice-chair of GFANZ.

“I am delighted that Japan is once again leading by hosting the first GFANZ country chapter as a forum for Japan’s net-zero-committed financial institutions to learn from one another, and engage with stakeholders, as they work to turn their net-zero commitments into action – domestically, regionally, and across the globe.”

The Japan Chapter Consultative Group – which will comprise Japanese financial institutions, government representatives, industry leaders and experts, and will be chaired in its first year by Dai-Ichi Life Insurance Company chair of the board Seiji Inagaki – will provide strategic input into the chapter’s activities and work products.

Inagaki said: “Japan has some of the world’s leading financial institutions and financing the decarbonisation of the Apac region is crucial to the global success of combatting climate change. The chapter will be integral in furthering Japan’s leadership in climate finance action – and I am honoured to serve as the inaugural chair of the consultative group.”