By Will Martindale (@WillJMartindale), Director of Policy and Research

Will Martindale

2019 was the year responsible investment policy mattered. Here is a selection of 2019 highlights:



  • The EU ESMA opened consultations on integration of sustainability issues in securities and investment fund legislation.






  • Following the UK’s commitment in law to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the latest, the UK’s Treasury Select Committee held a hearing on the necessary policy change.
  • The UK published its Green Finance Strategy, which includes an expectation of TCFD reporting by certain investors and issuers by 2022.
  • The US House Committee on Financial Services voted to pass several ESG disclosure bills, including the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2019 (CRDA).
  • The Asset Management Association of China (AMAC) consulted on its draft for its Guidelines on Green Investment.


  • The China Securities Regulator (CSRC) published a strategy for establishing mutual funds’ values development.
  • The New Zealand government opened a consultation reviewing the role of responsible investment in default defined contribution pension plans.


  • Speaking at PRI In Person, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire said: “We need a new capitalism for the 21st century which would be more sustainable.”
  • The PRI hosted its first dedicated responsible investment policy conference. Watch the highlights. The PRI published its Inevitable Policy Response policy forecast.
  • The French AMF announced the composition of its climate and sustainable finance commission.


  • Binding rules for UK pension funds to consider material ESG issues came into effect. The Minister for Pensions wrote to the 50 largest pension funds asking them what they are doing in this area and that some funds should stop “shuffling their feet” on climate change.
  • The UK FCA published its response to a consultation on climate change and green finance, committing to challenge firms on greenwashing and clarifying that existing rules require regulated firms to disclose all financially material climate-related risks.
  • The UK FRC released its revised Stewardship Code, emphasising the importance of action on systemic risks and alignment with beneficiaries’ and clients’ views.
  • The EU and representatives from Argentina, Canada, Chile, China, India, Kenya and Morocco launched a new International Platform on Sustainable Finance (IPSF) at the World Bank meetings in Washington DC. Other countries are inviting to join.
  • Russia’s Central Bank and supervisor drafted a Stewardship Code.



2019 may be the year that policy mattered – but it’s only the start. Put simply, capital markets continue to operate beyond sustainability boundaries. Can investors expert further policymaking in the months and years ahead? Let’s hope so.



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