On 22 June 2023, Frankfurt Main Finance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Finance Montréal in Montréal. What did the two financial centres agree on?
Väth: The ISSB has decided to move the seat of your Board and Chair to Frankfurt. This was and is a great success for the location to have such an important international standard setter in the financial centre. The ISSB has chosen Montréal as its second important location. In North America, Canada is a pioneer in sustainability. And Montréal, along with Toronto, is the country’s central financial centre and thus a natural partner for us. We therefore found it only logical to work together.
What will the cooperation look like in concrete terms?
Väth: The focus will be on building and transferring knowledge, exchanging best practices and supporting the work of the ISSB through international networking. Frankfurt has a lot to offer here. The joint declaration of intent provides for cooperation and networking, especially in the area of research and capacity building. There is a lot of work and many opportunities waiting for us. The strengths of the financial centre, its universities, its associations, its think tanks, its training structures, etc. must be brought to bear. It was particularly exciting to see how the possibilities of German structures were absorbed there in order to reach small and medium-sized enterprises, which form the backbone of the economy in Canada just as they do in Germany. It is precisely with such companies that the most support is needed.
The Green and Sustainable Finance Cluster Germany is already connected to Montréal through its membership in the global network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S). How can the forces here be bundled in the future?
Väth: We are active in the World Alliance of International Financial Centers, just as the GSFCG is active in the FC4S. Therefore, our closer cooperation here, as in many other places, makes a lot of sense. We are looking forward to it. Because the cluster is a know-how and competence carrier for us. We have complementary communication channels, networks and proven clout. We can and want to strengthen and network the numerous workstreams of the cluster wherever possible and sensible. The linking of existing networks and initiatives and the pooling of know-how are explicitly also a concern of the ISSB. We think: creating the “global baseline” of sustainability reporting deserves the full support of all actors. And, from the perspective of the location, not to be underestimated: The ISSB has enormous charisma. We see this in high-level visits and the interest of national and international stakeholders.