This year the 4th Annual GRASFI Conference will be hosted virtually.

The Programme is indicative and is subject to change; all listed times are London British Summer Time (BST) / China Standard Time (CST)

  • 31 August
  • 1 September
  • 2 September
  • 3 September

12:00-15:00 London / 19:00-22:00 Beijing

PhD Workshop

Pre-selected PhD students will be invited to present their papers or projects and faculty and senior researchers from GRASFI universities will provide feedback, as well as advice on research, publications, and careers.

13:30-15:00 London / 20:30-22:00 Beijing

Side Event

SKBI & SGFC Presents: Panel Discussions on ESG Measurements & Standards

Organised by Sim Kee Boon Institute, Singapore Management University; Singapore Green Finance Centre.

With the growth of sustainable, responsible, and impact (SRI) investing, how to measure and assess environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impacts of investment is increasingly becoming an imperative issue. As trillions of dollars are invested based on firms’ ESG performance and impact, the reliability of existing ESG and impact measures and the proper disclosure of ESG-related information are of foremost importance to investors, managers, and policymakers.

In addition, numerous concerns have been raised on the reliability of existing ESG ratings, including the incomparability between different ESG metrics, bias and inconsistencies in rating construction, and low correlations between different ratings. All these challenges call for greater standardization of ESG information disclosure and impact measurement, as well as properly valuing impact not just in its natural unit but also in monetary terms.
Leveraging their strong research capabilities in this area, Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC) and Sim Kee Boon Institute (SKBI) at Singapore Management University (SMU) will hold a panel discussion on “ESG Measurements and Standards” as a side event of the Annual GRASFI Conference. The proposed agenda for this side event will cover two main topics: (1) divergence and convergence of different ESG rating, and (2) how measurements can move beyond ratings towards an impact-weighted account. We will also discuss how to measure & assess SDGs-alignment, and how big data & AI can change the landscape of ESG impact measurement, especially in the post-pandemic era.

More information available soon.

10:00 - 11:30 London / 17:00 - 18:30 Beijing

Side Event

Biodiversity Finance – The frontier of green finance

Organised by SOAS University of London & International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF), Central University of Finance and Economics

More information available soon.

12:00 - 12:15 London / 19:00 - 19:15 Beijing


Professor Rob Bauer, Professor of Finance, School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University

Dr Ben Caldecott, Director, Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; Lombard Odier Associate Professor & Senior Research Fellow of Sustainable Finance; Supernumerary Fellow, Oriel College, University of Oxford; Director, UK Centre for Greening Finance & Investment (CGFI);  COP26 Strategy Advisor for Finance, Cabinet Office

Professor Wang Yao, Director General of International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) at Central University of Finance and Economics

12:15 - 13:15 London / 19:15 - 20:15 Beijing

Opening Keynotes

Steven Billet, Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific of BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM)

Vitor Gaspar, Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, International Monetary Fund

13:15 - 14:15 London / 20:15 - 21:15 Beijing

Panel 1 - Central Banks and regulators

Central banks and supervsiors have recognised climate change as a material risk for macrofinancial stability. They are also starting to work on other environmental challenges including biodiversity risk. A consensus is building that their policies and operational frameworks need to be adjusted in order to mitigate climate and other environmental risks and support the scaling up of sustainable finance and the transition of economies and financial systems to net-zero. This session will take stock of the developments to date, discuss the major challenges facing central banks and supervisors with regards to implementation, and give an outlook on the future direction of travel.

Key questions:

  • What are the key priorities for your institution for addressing climate and other environmental risks?
  • What are specific policies and instruments that your institution has already introduced? What policies and instruments are you planning to introduce?
  • What are the main challenges and bottlenecks?

Confirmed Speakers:

Mariana Escobar Uribe, Financial Superintendent of Colombia

YE Yanfei,  Director General, Policy Research Bureau of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission (CBIRC)

14:30 - 16:00 London / 21:30 - 23:00 Beijing

Paper Session 1 - Green Finance Policy and Regulators


Session Chair: Professor Olaf Weber, University of Waterloo

Paper 1

Deliberative policy work for sustainable finance: A European Commission ‘experiment’ to tackle grand challenges.     

Authors: Stephanie Giamporcaro, Jean-Pascal Gond and Céline Louche

Paper 2 

The Effects of Mandatory ESG Disclosure around the World.

Authors: Rui Zhong, Dragon Tang, Philipp Krueger and Zacharias Sautner

Paper 3 

Financial Policy, Green Transition and Recovery after the COVID-19.

Authors: Dongyang Pan, Chuanqi Chen, Michael Grubb and Yao Wang


Read More

Paper Session 2 - Insurance, Risk and Climate Change


Session Chair: Dr. SUN Tianyin (Tsinghua University)

Paper 1

Pricing of Climate Risk Insurance: Regulatory Frictions and Cross-Subsidies.

Authors: Ishita Sen and Ana-Maria Tenekedjieva Louche

Paper 2 

Sustainability assurance and cost asymmetry.

Authors: Alexander Bassen, Laura-Maria Gastone, Kerstin Lopatta, Anna R. Rudolf and Sebastian A. Tideman

Paper 3 

In search of climate distress risk.

Authors: Quyen Nguyen, Ivan Diaz-Rainey and Duminda Kuruppuarachchi


Read More

Paper Session 3 - Asset Allocation and climate change (1)


Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Climate Change and Long-Horizon Portfolio Choice: Combining Theory and Empirics.

Authors: Mathijs Cosemans, Xander Hut and Mathijs Van Dijk

Paper 2 

Sea Level Rise and Portfolio Choice.

Author: Emirhan Ilhan

Paper 3 

Climate Change Concerns and Mortgage Lending.

Authors: Tinghua Duan and Frank Weikai Li


Read More

16:00 - 17:30 London / 23:00 - 00:30 Beijing

Side Event

Better Finance: Level EEI – Level the Playing Field for Energy efficiency investment products

Organised by LEVEL EEI Consortium (Better Finance, 2° Investing Initiative , Maastricht University and WWF)

More information available soon.

20:00 - 21:30 London / 03:00 - 04:30 Beijing

Side Event

Central Bank Digital Currency as an Opportunity for more resilient and sustainable finance.

Organised by School of Business and Economics, Maastricht University; Maastricht Observatory on Resilient and Responsible Sustainable Societies; Economies and Enterprises (MORSE) and Sustainable Finance Lab (SFL) 

China has its digital Yuan. The Riksbank announced the digital Krona will follow within 5 years. The ECB is expected to start the digital euro soon. Central bank digital currencies (CBDC) have the potential to drastically improve the resilience and sustainability of the global financial system. However, for that a more ambitious use of CBDC is needed than currently envisaged. Much of the current debate focuses on ways to minimize the impact of CBDC on the current financial system. In this session we discuss the potential of CBDC to address some fundamental flaws of the global financial systems. How can CBDC help put finance on a more resilient and sustainable footing? Can it reduce the problem of ‘too big to fail’ banks, lift liquidity constraints and provide new financial resources for global common goods like mitigating climate change and biodiversity preservation?

More information available soon.

09:30 - 10:30 London / 16:30 - 17:30 Beijing

Side Event

Stewardship: A powerful and multi-faceted investor tool to drive sustainability

Organised by BNP Paribas Asset Management.

Stewardship has emerged as a critical component of investors’ sustainable investment approaches. But what are the concrete ways through which investors can use stewardship to drive improved sustainability practices and make better informed investment decision?Using concrete examples and case studies, this panel will discuss the stewardship toolbox and how investors can promote sustainable outcomes through voting and constructive engagement with companies, including through collaborative engagement initiatives. It will also cover the various escalation strategies when companies don’t respond to engagement, from filing shareholder resolutions all the way to exclusion as a last resort.


George Dallas, Policy Director, International Corporate Governance Network

Michael Herskovich, Global Head of Stewardship, BNP Paribas Asset Management

Sheila Ter Lagg (moderator), Global Head of ESG Specialist, BNP Paribas Asset Management

 11:00 – 12:30 London / 18:00 – 19:30 Beijing 

Paper Session 4 - Green Banking


Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Banking Barriers to the Green Economy.

Authors: Tarik Roukny, Hans Degryse and Joris Tielens

Paper 2 

Inequality, discrimination, and the financial system: How gender and law shape banker mobility, bank-firm relationships and bank activity.

Authors: Marco Ceccarelli, Christoph Herpfer and Steven Ongena

Paper 3

Investing in influence: Investors, portfolio firms, and political giving.

Authors: Eyub Yegen, Marianne Bertrand, Matilde Bombardini, Ray Fisman and Francesco Trebbi


Read More

Paper Session 5 - Stewardship


Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Beyond “One Size Fits All”: Configuring Collaborative Shareholder Engagement on Climate Change.

Authors: Jean-Pascal Gond, Rieneke Slager, Kevin Chuah, Santi Furnari and Mikael Homanen

Paper 2 

Corporate Directors Learn From Environmental Engagements: Causal Evidence From Withdrawn Shareholder Proposals.

Authors: Colin Tissen, Rob Bauer and Jeroen Derwall

Paper 3

The two sides of salience: coalition composition in collective shareholder engagements on ESG issues

Author: Kevin Chuah


Read More

Paper Session 6 - Green Bonds

Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Why Do Firms Issue Green Bonds?

Authors: Julien Xavier Daubanes, Shema Frédéric Mitali and Jean-Charles Rochet

Paper 2 

Is Carbon Risk Priced in the Cross-Section of Corporate Bond Returns?

Authors: Tinghua Duan, Frank Weikai Li and Quan Wen

Paper 3

The Preferential Treatment of Green Bonds.

Authors: Matthias Kaldorf, Francesco Giovanardi, Lucas Radke and Florian Wicknig


Read More

13:00 - 14:00 London / 20:00 - 21:00 Beijing

Panel 2 - Emerging Markets Finance


Sanaa Abouzaid, Country Manager for Central America, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group

Kevin Gallagher, Professor of Global Development Policy; Director, Global Development Policy Center, Boston University

Paul Milon, Head of Stewardship, Asia Pacific at BNP Paribas Asset Management

Christoph Nedopil (Moderator), Senior Research Fellow at the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF) of the Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE); Founding Director of the Green Belt and Road Initiative Center

Huang Shan, Head of the International Department, Sinosure China

Anzetse Were, Senior Economist, FSD Kenya

 14:00 - 15:30 London / 21:00 - 22:30 Beijing

Paper Session 7 - Climate Finance

Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

A recipe for fast-growing wind financial markets.

Authors: Jamie Rickman, Francesca Larosa and Nadia Ameli

Paper 2 

Outsourcing Climate Change.

Authors: Rui Dai, Rui Duan, Hao Liang and Lilian Ng

Paper 3

A climate investment trap in developing economies.

Authors: Nadia Ameli, Olivier Dessens, Matthew Winning, Jennifer Cronin, Hugues Chenet, Paul Drummond, Alvaro Calzadilla,

Gabrial Anandarajah and Michael Grubb


Read More

Paper Session 8 - Asset Allocation and climate change (2)

Session Chair: TBC

Session 1

Who Owns the Emissions: Equity Ownership and the Carbon Underground 200.

Authors: Truzaar Dordi, Sebastian Gehricke, Alain Naef and Olaf Weber

Paper 2 

Understanding Macro and Asset Price Dynamics During the Climate Transition.

Authors: Michael Donadelli, Patrick Grüning and Steffen Hitzemann

Paper 3

Strategic Asset Allocation with Climate Change.

Authors: Sally Shen, Alexey Rubtsov and Alex LaPlante


Read More

Paper Session 9 - Corporate Governance

Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Do High Ability Managers Choose ESG Projects that Create Shareholder Value?

Authors: Aaron Yoon and Kyle Welch

Paper 2 

The Response of Local Corporate Sustainability to Environmental Disasters: Evidence from Wildfires.

Authors: Ioannis Branikas, Gabriel Buchbinder, Yugang Ding and Nan Li

Paper 3

Does CEO Debt-like Compensation Mitigate Corporate Social Irresponsibility?

Authors: Long Chen, Guanming He and Gopal Krishnan


Read More

 20:00 - 21:30 London / 03:00 -04:30 Beijing

Side Event

Biodiversity and Financial Stability – Exploring the case for action

Organised by the International Network for Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research, and Exchange (INSPIRE)

A growing number of central banks and supervisors have recognised the need to extend their focus from climate change to the challenges of addressing the implications of broader nature-related risks and the conservation of nature and biodiversity. Doing this will involve understanding the impact of finance on the provision of key ecosystem services as well as the consequences of biodiversity loss for financial stability. To respond to this emerging agenda, the NGFS and the International Network for Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research, and Exchange (INSPIRE) – one of the NGFS research stakeholders – have launched a joint Study Group on ‘Biodiversity and Financial Stability’. The study group was established in April 2021 to establish a research-based approach to how central banks and supervisory authorities can fulfil their mandates in the context of biodiversity loss. It is co-chaired by Dr Ma Jun (Director of the Center for Finance & Development at Tsinghua University and chair of the NGFS Workstream on Research) and Professor in Practice Nick Robins (London School of Economics and INSPIRE).

The Study Group is conducting a programme of research and dialogue to address these challenges and propose recommendations for action and further inquiry. The goal of the research initiative is to establish an evidence-based approach to how central banks and supervisory authorities could fulfil their mandates in the context of biodiversity loss, with a focus on land-use and deforestation.

This session has the aim of bringing together the Study Group chairs and members with an international audience to discuss areas of interest, first outcomes and future plans.


Jessica Dempsey, Associate Professor, Biodiversity Centre, University of British Columbia

Katie Leach, Senior Programme Officer, UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre

Irene Alvarado Quesada, Head of the Environmental Statistics Unit of the Central Bank of Costa Rica

Professor Nick Robins (moderator), Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the London School of Economics and INSPIRE, and Co-Chair of the NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group on Biodiversity and Central Banking

Romain Svartzman, Economist on Sustainable Finance and Climate-related Risks, the Banque de France

09:30 - 11:00 London / 16:30 - 18:00 Beijing

Side Event

Connect to the Future: Fill the gap in sustainable research between universities and the market

Organised by the International Institute of Green Finance (IIGF), Central University of Finance and Economics

China is one of the most dynamic country for responding to climate change, which also plays a crucial role in realizing the global “Carbon Neutrality” goal. The current problem is that green finance, as an emerging field, has not yet fully walk into the public’s vision, and sustainable investment led by ESG is just a vague concept for most investors.
At present, the academic disciplines associate with sustainable development are relatively scattered globally. Combining multidisciplinary education with finance as a touch point is an emerging but urgent need research area. Developing and innovating related subject is one of the effective ways in guiding the students’ sustainable development awareness.
The post-millennial generation is living in the era of internet information explosion, so that they have more obvious impact on climate change and a sense of self-responsibility. However, they are not yet clear enough how individuals can contribute to climate change and realize self-worth at the same time.

More details available soon.

11:00-12:30 London / 18:00-19:30 Beijing

Paper Session 10 - Green Financing


Session Chair: Professor Kerstin Lopatta, University of Hamburg

Paper 1

Do Investors Care About Impact?

Authors: Florian Heeb, Julian Kölbel, Falko Paetzold and Stefan Zeisberger

Paper 2 

Biodiversity finance – pushing the frontier.

Author: Christoph Nedopil

Paper 3 

CAROs: Climate Risk-Adjusted Refinancing Operations.

Authors: Chiara Colesanti Senni and Florian Böser


Read More

Paper Session 11 - Green ESG and Asset Pricing


Session Chair: Dr. LI Jing (Tsinghua University)

Paper 1

ESG Preference, Institutional Trading, and Stock Return Patterns.

Authors: Weiming Zhang, Sheridan Titman, Xintong Zhan and Jie Cao

Paper 2 

Stock Price Reactions to ESG News: The Role of ESG Ratings and Disagreement.

Authors: Aaron Yoon and George Serafeim

Paper 3 

Firm-Level ESG News and Active Fund Management.

Authors: Linquan Chen, Yao Chen, Alok Kumar and Woon Sau Leung


Read More

12:30 – 14:00 London / 19:30 – 21:00 Beijing

Paper Session 12 - Sustainable Investment Choices and Investor Behaviour


Session Chair: Professor Alexander Bassen, University of Hamburg

Paper 1

Green Sentiment.

Authors: Marie Brière and Stefano Ramelli

Paper 2 

Socially Responsible Investments: Costs and Benefits for University Endowment Funds.

Authors: George Aragon, Yuxiang Jiang, Juha Joenvaara and Cristian Tiu

Paper 3 

Do sustainability-conscious individuals prefer socially responsible investments? A study among the users of robo advisors.

Authors: Ann-Christine Brunen and Oliver Laubach


Read More

Paper Session 13 - Disclosure and Reporting for Sustainable Finance


Session Chair: TBC

Paper 1

Navigating the corporate disclosure gap: Multiple Imputation of Missing Not at Random Carbon Data.

Authors:Malgorzata Olesiewicz, Sonja Greven and Jaakko Kooroshy

Paper 2 

Institutional Investors and Carbon Emissions: Evidence from the US EPA’s Semi-scientific Reporting Mandate.

Authors: Santanu Kundu and Stefan Ruenzi

Paper 3 

Showing off cleaner hands: mandatory climate-related disclosure by financial institutions and the financing of fossil energy.

Authors: Jean-Stéphane Mésonnier and Benoit Nguyen


Read More

14:00 - 14:30 London / 21:00 - 21:30 Beijing

Closing Keynote

MA Jun, Chairman of the Green Finance Committee, China Society for Finance and Banking; President of Institute of Finance and Sustainability; Co-Chairman of the G20 Sustainable Finance Study Group

14:30 - 15:00 London / 21:30 - 22:00 Beijing

Paper Prize Ceremony

15:00 - 15:15 London / 22:00 - 22:15 Beijing

Closing note and announcement of GRASFI 2022 Conference​

17:00 - 18:00 London / 00:00 - 01:00 Beijing (+1)

Side Event

What Role Should Central Banks Play in Dealing with Environmental and Social Challenges like Climate Change and Inequality- Roundtable discussion

Organised by the Project on Public Finance and Human Rights  and its co-sponsors, the International Development Law Unit, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoriathe Human Rights  and Business Initiative, University of Connecticut and the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, American University Washington College of Law.

The roundtable will be co-chaired by Prof. Daniel Bradlow, University of Pretoria and Prof. Stephen Park, University of Connecticut. The participants in the roundtable are:
1) Professor Rosa Lastra, Queen Mary University of London
2) Deputy Governor Elsie Addo Awadzi, Bank of Ghana
3) Professor Daniela Gabor, University of Bristol
4) Aldo Caliari, Senior Advisor, Jubilee USA
5)  Professor Anna Gelpern, Georgetown University 
6) Professor Saule Omerova, Cornell University


The GRASFI 2021 Conference is generously supported by: