In November Eurosif will release new data on the Sri European market. They will be likely aligned with the ones dating back to 2014 as for the countries driving the Old Continent in the sustainable and responsible investment industry. In any case, until the new “Eurosif SRI study” is published, you can rely on the data provided last November by Vigeo (today Vigeo Eiris) in the “Green, Social and Ethical Funds in Europe 2015 Review” or on the ones more recently provided by Novethic and French SIF in “Les chiffres 2015 de l’Investissement Responsable en France” . Just one warning: pay attention as usual to the definitions and methodologies each report opts for.
Despite any possible difference, all the above mentioned reports say the same thing: France is the leading european country when it comes to the Sri market. And, as Europe is the leading area in the Sri world, you may therefore assume France is the leading country in the world.
A couple of recent news confirm once again the leading role France is playing.
In 2017 France is going to be the first country in the world to issue a sovereign green bond. That step is likely to boost further the green bond market, a very young and fast growing one, with legions of investors looking around worldwide for green investments to decarbonise their portfolio, that see green bonds as a charming and effective answer to their pressing requests.
In that perspective, it’s probably worth saying that today the biggest world investors seem to represent one of the most powerful engines of the green, sustainable, low carbon transition underway. Take, for instance, the fossil fuel divestment movement, with new commitments announced almost every day, that you can look at as the biggest mass phenomenon by far in Sri history. Take, too, the letter a few days ago a group of 130 influential investors sent to the G20 members calling them on to urgently ratify the Paris Agreement.
The second news is about the “label Isr”, o Sri label, the French government introduced at the beginning of the current year. An investment giant like Amundi announced at the end of August that four of its funds have been the first ever to be awarded the label. In a market where it’s still not clear (will it ever be?) what you can consider Sri and what you cannot, France put on the table a sort of State guarantee trying to level the playing field and to make it more understandable mainly to the retail investors. No other country made such a thing, by now.
Will other countries be able to follow in France’s footsteps or even to challenge France with regard to the Sri leadership? We’ll see. Maybe the era of sustainable (finance) competition has finally begun.