New report identifies strategies to finance the SDGs and Climate Action
UNITED NATIONS, New York, 21 September 2016 – Strategies to shift capital towards investments that generate climate action and sustainable development were discussed at the United Nations today at a high-level event to discuss a new report titled “Links in the Chain of Sustainable Finance: Accelerating Private Investments for the SDGs, including Climate Action.”
The high-level event was opened by the President of the UN General Assembly H.E. Peter Thomson and chaired by his predecessor H.E. Mogens Lykketoft.
Discussions were centred around the report, invited by President of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly, Mr Lykketoft, and written by Brookings Institution scholars Homi Kharas and John McArthur. Similar reports from UNEP and from the New Climate Economy were also discussed.
The Brookings Institution report identifies strategies designed to shift the global flow of capital away from unsustainable sectors and towards investments that generate positive externalities in addition to economic growth, namely social inclusion and environmental protection.
“Sustainable finance is not only about increasing investments through new funding streams, it is also about finding ways to reorient the world’s existing financing streams to be consistent with multiple SDGs at once,” said the authors of the report, Homi Kharas and John McArthur.
The event at the United Nations HQ in New York during the UN General Debate lunch break provided an opportunity for participants from governments, the private sector, think tanks, philanthropies and academia to exchange views on what will be needed to mobilize the financial resources necessary to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
In his opening remarks, Mr Thomson emphasized the importance of strong engagement from all stakeholders.
“We must devise a regulatory system, at both the national and international levels, including an adequate incentive structure, that will make inclusive, sustainable investments also the most profitable investments,” he said.
One of the participants, Mark Wilson, the CEO of Aviva, commented: “It is enlightened self-interest that determines why business will act sustainably. If business isn’t sustainable then society is at risk. And if society isn’t sustainable then business is at risk. I welcome the report from the Brookings Institution and the leadership shown by the President of the General Assembly. Aviva looks forward to helping to deliver the recommendations contained within it.”
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