Transforming investment patterns is vital to harness the considerable financing required for implementing the 2030 Agenda.
The adoption of the Addis Ababa Action Agenda in July 2015 constituted a major step forward in this regard by providing a global framework for redirecting international financing toward supporting sustainable development, including the transition towards an inclusive green economy. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda clearly recognizes the important role that private finance will play in funding the investments needed.
UNEP has been engaged with the private financial sector since 1992. Through the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), UNEP works with over 200 partners from the banking, insurance and institutional investor sectors to align the financial system with the low-carbon, climate-resilient and green economy, and to mobilize the private necessary to effect the transition to a sustainable economy. Major initiatives driven by the UNEP FI partnership include the Principles for Sustainable Insurance, the Sustainable stock Exchange initiative, and the Portfolio Decarbonization Initiative – which in December 2015 secured commitments from major investment firms to decarbonize over $600 billion of assets under management.
More recently, UNEP's Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System examined how to harness the assets of the global financial system for sustainability. The core findings of the Inquiry, published in a report launched in October 2015, are that financial policy-makers and regulators are seek to embed sustainable development considerations into the core operations of financial systems; that momentum is building in many developing economies and some major industrialized ones; and that building on these experiences through national and international action could shift private capital to the investments in sustainability that are needed to achieve the SDGs and the inclusive green economy.