This report constitutes the first part of a major two-phase study on the financial services sector and climate change commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative's (UNEP FI) Climate Change Working Group (CCWG). This 2002 landmark study, highlighted the need for long-term, market-based frameworks to foster financial sector participation. The authors believe that the the Kyoto Protocol is an important step but does not go nearly far enough. In this report they discuss the underlying reasons why climate change is relevant to the financial services industry and the need for long-term, ‘beyond-Kyoto' market-based frameworks for fostering finance sector participation. The study presents an overview of the specific threats and opportunities facing the financial services industry and makes a series of strategic recommendations to policymakers and financial institutions for early action on the issue.