February 10, 2017

What We’re Reading: New developments in financing sustainable development

The EditorsEcoAgriculture Partners

Stories we loved the week of February 5th:

Italian National Dialogue Finds 18 Ways to Promote Sustainable Finance – SDG Knowledge Hub

“A national dialogue process on green finance in Italy has yielded a list of 18 possible policy actions for redesigning the country’s financial system to meet sustainability aims. The one-year dialogue engaged Italy’s banking and finance sector to identify barriers to and opportunities for improving the flow of financing to socially-inclusive and ecologically-sound projects.” You can read the 18 recommendations in the report produced following the dialogue titled, “Financing the Future: Report of the Italian National Dialogue on Sustainable Finance.”

The SDGs could create 380 million jobs by 2030, analysis finds – Citiscope

Better Business, Better World, published by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission, estimates that “sustainable” business initiatives could fuel up to USD 12 trillion in economic activity and create 380 million jobs by 2030.” If there was ever a clearer argument for the importance of national dialogues like the Italian one highlighted in the story above, we haven’t seen it.

UN Sustainability Goals: A Road Map for Impact Investing – A|B Context

Dan Roarty spotlights the enormous gap between needed funding to achieve the SDGs, estimated at US$5-7 trillion, and the currently available funds, which equates to a gap of about US$2.5 trillion, but emphasizes how this can be seen as an opportunity for impact investors. In this compelling analysis, Roarty also notes, “Mobilizing private sector support for the SDGs will require solid evidence that such investments can pay adequate returns. There are reasons for optimism here. According to a recent comprehensive study from the Copenhagen Consensus Center, investing equally across all 169 individual SDG targets would yield $7 in benefits for every dollar invested. Focusing on the targets with the highest-expected social payback could boost that return on investment fourfold. That’s a powerful incentive.”

Investors are Pouring Money into Conservation Efforts (It’s Actually a Great Investment) – Fast Co.Exist

This article highlights a recent study from Forest Trends that found a 62% increase in investments expecting a “measurable environmental result” along with financial return between 2013 and 2015. As Fast Co.Exist author Ben Schiller notes, “It’s not that the investments are exclusively environmentally motivated. About a third of investors surveyed expect returns of 5%-9.9%. Around half of for-profit investors expect 10% or more—a decent return by any measure.” But keeping these funds flowing will require strong data on the returns, both financial and environmental, on these investments. “Organizations will need to find a way to systematically analyze the effects of conservation investments, and leverage the findings to attract more investors to new projects,” Schiller writes.


Featured photo by Claudia Rancourt via Unsplash

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