This paper summarises the main findings of a major two-phase study on the financial services sector and climate change, for corporate decision-makers at executive board level and for key government policy-makers. The study shows why climate change is relevant to the financial services industry and explains the need for long-term, market-based, frameworks to foster finance sector participation. It presents an overview of the specific threats and opportunities facing the industry and makes strategic recommendations to policy-makers and financial institutions for early action on this issue. Further, the study examines the possible future role of the finance sector in dealing with climate change, the prevailing attitudes of financial services companies in responding to the issue, the various barriers to action, and the kinds of activities currently being implemented. The paper is also available (from the unepfi.net website) in German, French and Japanese languages.