01 Jan 1970 News Green economy

How the private sector can contribute to a Sustainable Financial System

UN Environment and the World Bank Group have released a report outlining how huge potential for the financial sector to contribute to a sustainable economy can be leveraged.

The report, called The Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System, aims to help governments finance climate action and sustainable development. Climate action alone requires trillions of dollars’ worth of investments. Often, these need to come from the world’s financial markets. A review of 21 developing countries contributing 48% of global greenhouse gas emissions shows investment opportunities equaling US$22.6 trillion.

The Roadmap highlights the importance of the environment for the private sector. It also shows how private sector stakeholders can help create a sustainable economy.

“The financial system has enormous transformative power, and has the potential to serve as an engine for the global economy’s transition to sustainable development,” said UN Environment head Erik Solheim. “The roadmap tells us who needs to do what, and when, for this to happen.”

The Roadmap seeks to promote unity of policy for private and public stakeholders in the financial sector. It further identifies concrete steps to be taken over the next 24 months. These steps will help stakeholders both to make the best use of ongoing initiatives and to create new ones. They cover several areas of products, such as information and technology; business models, capabilities and incentives; national public policy actions and roadmaps; global coordination principles; and results measurement.

 “Sustainable growth must be the only growth option for the planet and will require sustainable financial systems that are inclusive, deep, and sound,” said Hartwig Schafer, World Bank Vice President for Global Themes.

Finance institutions have already begun to integrate environmental and social risks and opportunities into their business models. Examples of such institutions are the Sustainable Banking Network and the UN Environment Finance Initiative. International efforts need to address vastly different aspects of sustainable and green finance. These efforts profit from the involvement of the private sector in the fight to beat pollution. International development banks and financial institutions are of great importance in the work to establish a sustainable economy.

For more information, see the UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System’s and the World Bank Group’s Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System: https://bitly.im/6t2dG or write to nils.holta@un.org