Argentina and Chile expressed interest in knowing how to adopt and promote sustainable finance. Interest in the topic arises in a mission undertaken at the end of July by the UNEP New York Office Director, Elliott Harris and the Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Leo Heileman, who exchanged ideas on promoting sustainable finance in both countries. UNEP directors met with a broad representation of government and the banking and financial sector of the country, such as the Ministries of Environment; the Ministries of Finance; Central Banks; Banking Associations; Superintendences; the Stock Exchanges; and some financial institutions such as Banco Estado de Chile and Banco de la Nación Argentina.

During his visit, Harris stressed the “strategic role of the financial sector to encourage beneficial investments for sustainable development” and the importance of the fact that more and more countries adopt national strategies for sustainable finance. Meanwhile Mr. Heileman, said that “Argentina and Chile are among the major economies of the region, with developed productive sectors and developed financial systems, so it is important to promote sustainable finance in both countries.” For this reason UNEP FI with the support of the Development Bank of Latin America – CAF, is organizing the event Promoting sustainable finance in the Southern Cone to be held in Santiago de Chile on November 3rd, 2016.

In both countries, UNEP FI with the support of CAF, is conducting a detailed survey of existing environmental practices and policies within the Chilean and Argentinean banking sectors respectively.