Press at COP26 | Montreal will play an important role in sustainable finance in America

(Glasgow, UK) Montreal is missing the headquarters of the new International Sustainability Reporting Standards Board, which is moving to Frankfurt, Germany. However, Legault’s government announced Wednesday that Greater Quebec City will host one of the organization’s main offices and will become “the heart of sustainable finance in America.”

Updated November 3, 2021

Hugo Bellon Larousse

Hugo Bellon Larousse

Henry Owlette Vezina

Henry Owlette Vezina

Martin Valeris

Martin Valeris

With this office of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB), Montreal will play a major role in sustainable finance. The announcement was made on Wednesday as part of the United Nations climate summit, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland.

ISSB’s mission is to manage international standards that govern corporate disclosure of information on environmental, social and governance aspects.

Frankfurt, Germany, was chosen to host the organization’s headquarters. While the cities of Montreal and Frankfurt will be the hubs responsible for the main functions of the new board of directors, several other cities, including San Francisco and London, will provide technical support to the organization,” the Quebec government explained by way of a press release.

Earlier this fall, Prime Minister François Legault and a consortium of Quebec organizations intervened with the IFRS Foundation’s decision makers. Quebec has been working behind the scenes to acquire the ISSB headquarters. In the corridors of COP26, the Prime Minister’s Office was excited about today’s announcement that the city received an office from the organization.

The president of Caisse de Depot et placement du Québec, Charles Emond, who is also in Glasgow this week, said this new ISSB office in Montreal underscores the “experience that exists in Quebec” in the matter.

“That was the goal [plusieurs villes] of the world to get attended. […] And I think Quebec is recognized for having a population that is rallying behind the cause of the environment,” Cheer up.

Montreal in sustainable finance

Among the main promoters of Montreal’s nomination to attract ISSB, Montreal International CEO Stephane Paquet, who is participating in COP26, welcomed “the arrival of ISSB. [Cela confirme] That Montreal is a center for sustainable finance and our expertise will help [décarboner] world economy. »

Montreal is now part of the solution to a complex problem that requires the mobilization of all countries on all continents.

Stéphane Paquet, CEO of Montreal International

For Montreal Finance, which brings together financial sector stakeholders in the city and in Quebec, Managing Director, Jacques Deforges, said: “We can be proud that our leadership in sustainable finance is internationally recognized. The decision to establish one of the ISSB’s main offices in Montreal confirms that Canadian and Canadian expertise in this field is now beyond our borders. »

Meanwhile, in Quebec City, during an early morning press meeting, Finance Minister Eric Girard described Montreal’s selection of one of the ISSB executive offices as “extremely positive.”

The main office will be in Frankfurt and the main office for the Americas will be in Montreal. This is important because IFRS [principale instance mondiale en comptabilité financière, instigatrice de l’ISSB en finance durable] She was responsible for the financial standards. But here, we will add ESG criteria [environnement, société, gouvernance]. So it is very positive. »

Furthermore, along with the Association of Certified Professional Accountants in Canada, or CPA Canada, which also collaborated closely in Canada and Montreal’s nomination to attract ISSB, the President and CEO, Charles-Antoine St-Jean, felt that “if Montreal were chosen to host one of the offices of The new international board, it is because IFRS recognize Canada’s strong commitment to sustainability governance.”

“The message from the IFRS is clear: it trusts Canada to help the ISSB establish its global presence,” said the CPA-Canada chair.

In Ottawa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland praised “Canada is known for its diverse talents and skill, for its financial sector expertise and leadership on climate change.” “Internationally, Canada is also known as a leader and innovator in carbon pricing with an ambitious price trajectory, encouraging individuals and businesses to get involved in climate action,” she said.

“A strong signal,” says Valerie Blunt

In a press release, Mayor Valerie Plante said Wednesday that Montreal’s selection of this office from the ISSB “is a strong indication of the prestige” of the city. We are at the forefront of the global movement in business and financial markets in favor of sustainable development and responsible investment.

His government also spoke of a “big victory”. “The development of new international environmental financial disclosure standards, as will be developed by the ISSB, will play a key role in ensuring access to better information and thus enabling the movement of capital towards tangible solutions,” Al-Sayed Plant. However, she did not comment on the fact that Montreal eventually failed to accommodate the organization’s head office.

Last September, mayoral candidate Denis Coudrey argued that Montreal needed to bolster its diplomatic presence in the world and protect its stifling control over the headquarters of organizations such as the World Anti-Doping Agency or the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). “If we don’t intervene, we will lose the World Anti-Doping Agency,” he said, expressing concern that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) would eventually give less importance to his office. Montreal, the main office since its establishment in 1945, for its executive headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

According to city data, there are more than 65 international organizations, including 4 United Nations headquarters, in Montreal, making it the third largest city for international organizations in North America.

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