WS13: Sustainable Finance, Sustainable Business – the Role and Functions of Governance

Publicerad: 8 oktober 2018


Malou Larsson Klevhill (Luleå University of Technology):
Tommy Borglund (Örebro University)

Global financial markets are increasingly becoming more and more involved in adaptation to climate change and the realization of the UN Agenda 2030. Adaptive policies and measures are developing across the world, which makes it into an intriguing policy field to study. There is today a deeper understanding that asset management and investments, in i.a. the pension-industry, needs steering into a sustainable path, so called ESG-factors (environmental, social and governance). It is not sufficient with only political momentum to realise e.g. the Paris Agreement on reducing carbon emissions to save the climate. Capital flows on the market must follow the same path and coincide with policy in order to reach full potential of governance.

This NEESS working group will have special focus on the dynamic interplay between policy framing and economic strategies for investments and their legal implications. The workshop will explore the role of governance in its broadest sense. Comparisons across institutional settings can identify differences and similarities that in turn leads to learning and broader understanding. Examples of questions to be addressed in national as well as comparative studies are: does investments entail responsibility for failure to reach environmental targets? Will investments over time be possible for other purposes than “green”? Will it be implications for market actors, members of boards and others of political goals and are there corporate strategies to finance climate change adaptation policies and measures? What will the consequences be of initiatives from the EU Commission on transparency and investment information such as annual reporting and disclosure of non-financial information?  What will be the future role of supervisory authorities? It is clear that parts of the financial markets are leading in the field of sustainable investments but legal measures are needed in order to reach a level-playing field and clarify responsibilities among actors on the market. Can we reach an ultimate design of legal regulations for them to be efficient and integrated into economic models and policy?

We look forward to good discussions of papers from the social sciences ranging from local to global, national and international, as well as comparative perspectives.