Developments in Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investments

Day one of the Sustainable Financial Innovation Centre Annual Conference

Keynote Speaker

Professor Jonathan A. Batten
Honorary Professor of Finance at The University of Sydney Business School,  Editor in Chief of Journal of Financial Markets Institutions & Money and Emerging Markets Review

Conference Chairs and Guest Editors

  • Douglas Cumming: College of Business, Florida Atlantic University and Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham
  • Hisham Farag: Birmingham Business School, University of Birmingham Business School
  • Sofia Johan: College of Business, Florida Atlantic University 


The world has witnessed a series of unprecedented challenges that has a significantinfluence on world economies. These challenges has shaped and will continue to shapethe 21st century e.g. climate change, global warming and demographic shifts. The visible, catastrophic, effects of climate change have been observed in recent Californianwildfires, typhoons in south-east Asia and droughts in Africa and Australia and recentlyin Amazon rainforest fire. These episodes have devastated infrastructure, ruined naturalhabitats and inflicted suffering on our collective wellbeing.

Governments have soughtto alleviate the effects of climate change through the Paris Acord. Part of this strategyfocuses on climate-related financial risks that mitigate and limit the rise in globaltemperatures. The British government for instance has committed to reach net zerocarbon emissions by 2050. However, the current political landscape has exacerbatedthe matter when the US president withdrew from Paris Accord. Stakeholders, as theresult, put much pressure on companies to raise the awareness of the concept of ethicalfinance and to adhere with the Principles of Responsible Investments (PRI) and to baninvestments in “Sin Stocks” that could have a negative impact on human being andenvironment. Islamic financial institutions’ portfolios (asset approximately USD 2trillion in 2018) do not include sin stocks. Policymakers and prudential supervisorsinstigate changes in governance and regulations to ensure companies comply with the requirements of the green and low-carbon economy. Regulatory bodies are alsorequired to continue to raise the disclosure bar to address these climate-related risksand to “green” the financial system.

The above has shed the light on a new finance paradigm with different agency dynamics with respect to stakeholders in which maximization of shareholder wealth could beeasily challenged. This motivates financial institutions to create more innovative andsustainable financial instruments e.g green bonds to combat climate change and to helpcompanies meet their environmental and sustainability goals. More recently, the Bank of England governor Mark Carney and François Villeroy deGalhau, governor of the Banque de France, state, “If some companies and industriesfail to adjust to this new world, they will fail to exist”. HSBC has recently announcedtheir global commitment to provide $100 billion in sustainable financing andinvestment by 2025. The objective of this special issue conference is to promote both theoretical and empirical research on the challenges and opportunities, developmentsand dynamics of Sustainable Finance and Responsible Investments and its impact onemerging markets and world economies.

Suggested Topics

  • Research on sustainable finance has implications on governance, regulations, riskmanagement and financial institutions. Possible topics/research questions include, butare not limited to:
  • What are the characteristics and the new developments in Sustainable Financee.g. green finance, green hire purchase, green lending, green bonds…etc?
  • What are the implications for the global challenges e.g. climate change andglobal warming on the development of Sustainable Finance financialinstruments?
  • What is the economic impact of Sustainable Finance on the theory of Financee.g. capital structure; long term firm performance, and corporate failures?
  • What is the relationship between Islamic Finance and Sustainable Finance?
  • What is the expected role of regulations and prudential supervisors to enhancecorporate governance and promote Sustainable Finance?
  • How FinTech and emerging new technologies would lead to substantialenhancements in entrepreneurship with respect to access to SustainableFinance?
  • What are the economic and social implications of Sustainable Finance on thedevelopment of Responsible Investments and Ethical Finance?
  • How Sustainable Finance substantially improves financial inclusivityworldwide?

Conference Submission Details

  • The Covid pandemic may require changes over the coming months. We willhost the conference via Zoom.
  • Interested authors should submit two versions of their paper, oneincluding author information and one with no identifying information to: by December 20th, 2020. Early submissions are encouraged and will be reviewed earlier.
  • Papers will be reviewed anonymously and authors will be notified of the decision by Dec 31st, 2020.

Publication opportunities

Selected papers will be considered for a special issue of Emerging Markets Review. In consultation with the Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Financial Markets Institutions & Money, authors of other selected papers will be invited to submit their manuscripts toa regular issue of JIFMIM with fast track review.