Guernsey Financial Services Commission at COP15 to discuss how private capital can address biodiversity challenges

19th December 2022

On Tuesday 13 December, William Mason, Director General of the Guernsey Financial Services Commission spoke as part of a Canadian-led panel on “Business investing for biodiversity and climate objectives”. The panel was part of COP15[1] – UN Biodiversity Conference[2] in Montreal, Canada which saw governments from around the world coming together to try to agree on a new set of goals to halt and reverse nature loss.

The panel explored the potential for private finance to invest in protecting nature for biodiversity and climate objectives in support of the proposed new Global Biodiversity Framework[3]. Speaking about his participation in the panel, William said: "To address the human existential challenge posed by continuing nature and especially biodiversity loss, private investment is desperately required to supplement insufficient public funds.  The key to progress is to develop and fund nature positive projects which offer a genuine financial return.” 

William’s attendance at the panel comes shortly after the Guernsey Financial Services Commission launched its Natural Capital Fund framework, as part of Guernsey’s growing Sustainable Funds Regime. The Natural Capital Fund regime offers a regulatory designation for funds to help channel investment into biodiversity and natural capital projects that make a positive contribution and/or significantly reduce harm to the natural world. The intention is to provide environmentally conscious investors with assurance that their capital is deployed in efforts to promote the protection and recovery of the Earth's natural environment.

At an earlier COP15 event, on Sunday 11 December, William spoke at the World Biodiversity Summit, working with Guernsey Finance, to explain the contribution the Bailiwick is making to grow environmental finance at a session entitled, “Business and Finance for Biodiversity: Closing the Nature Finance Gap.”

The Natural Capital Fund framework complements the Bailiwick’s existing regulated Guernsey Green Fund regime, which now channels more than £5.3 billion into green investments. Together the Guernsey Green Fund and Natural Capital Fund regimes provide the Bailiwick with a suite of sustainability designations based on international environmental standards.