GGFI ranks the work’s financial centres according to perceptions of quality and depth of their green finance offerings. London has topped a newly launched index ranking the world’s financial centres based on the quality of their green finance offerings.

Launched on Wednesday in Brussels, the inaugural Global Green Finance Index measures perceptions of the quality and size of green finance offerings and shows financial centres in Western Europe tended to outperform those in other regions.

London topped both the quality and penetration lists in the Index, with Amsterdam and Paris also featuring highly. However, future rankings are liable to change as they are based on tightly-clustered scores, according to the producers of the Index.

Paris, Frankfurt and New York are seen as most likely to become more significant green financial centres over the next two or three years, the Index suggests, with Paris, in particular, topping the list based on leadership and gaining influence in the sector.

The overall level of scores suggests green finance can grow substantially in size and quality, according to the GGFI, with supporting policy measures and investor demand seen as the main drivers.

A non-profit initiative, the GGFI is produced by research NGO Finance Watch and London-based think tank and consultancy Z/Yen, with support from green charity the MAVA Foundation pour la Nature.

The Index will be updated every six months based on a continuously running survey.

Michael Mainelli, executive chairman of Z/Yen, said he hoped the new index would help to promote the shift to a low carbon economy. “The core of the GGFI is a perception survey which observes and promotes change where it matters most – in people’s minds,” he said. “The more we can get people talking about a sustainable transition, the quicker it will happen. The high level of interest in GGFI 1 is a step in that direction.”

The leading green financial centres in each region were London, San Francisco, Shanghai and Shenzhen, Johannesburg and Cape Town, Mexico City, and Moscow.

But the rankings showed that in some countries, smaller centres with a strong green focus such as San Francisco and Hamburg outperformed larger centres such as New York and Frankfurt.

Benoît Lallemand, Secretary General of Finance Watch, said it was “urgent” that sustainable finance become mainstream in all financial centres. “The GGFI aims to contribute to the definition of green finance and identify best practices and areas for improvement,” he said. “We hope it will promote bold policy initiatives and high-quality financing that can cut through greenwash.”