Financial systems

A green economy is one that will drive investment and financial flows towards restoring our environment and generating a better quality of life for all. Our coalition members share some practical suggestions on reforming our financial systems below.

February, 2017

How can the SDGs help improve investor responsibility?

Jo Mountford - ShareAction

Investors play a central role in the global economy, providing financing for businesses and new technologies, playing a role as stewards of companies whose shares they own or manage, and enabling individuals to live with decency in retirement. However, many institutional investors have focussed to an unhealthy degree on short term returns and paid too little attention to the social and environmental impacts of their activities.

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January, 2017
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2017: What Next for Green Finance?

Nick Robins - UNEP Finance Inquiry

2016 is on course to be not just the hottest on record, but also probably the dirtiest and most hazardous too. “The climate has broken records in 2016“ says World Meteorological Organization chief Petteri Taalas. Smog once again returned to haunt many of the world’s cities notably in China, Europe and India - with the primary cause the same as climate change: the burning of fossil fuels.... Continue reading

September, 2016
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The Price is Right? Signals, Distortions and Patches in Greening Finance

Steven Stone - UNEP

Does anyone remember the tacky and blatantly consumerist American TV show launched in the early 1970's, when the host would ask a group of panelists to guess the price of a range of new products? Sometimes I feel that for all our advances in estimating the hidden costs of some of our products, we are still not far from the contestants in guessing their true value.

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April, 2016
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Stop Press – Calls to Reset Financial System in Pursuit of Sustainable Development

Simon Zadek

The IMF Spring Meetings last week was a red-letter week in progressing The Financial System We Need. Yes, it was a week when the UNEP Inquiry’s core messages went mainstream in style.

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March, 2016
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Good with Money? Delivering Green Social Investment in Rural Africa

John Weakliam - Vita

The world is reaching its ecological limits especially concerning carbon emission while concurrently inequality is rising with the bottom of the wealth pyramid lacking access to basic services, resources and markets.  Markets including capital markets place no value on ecological costs nor on social and environment equality but act in the short term to maximise return on investment.  These integrated social and ecological crises require integrated solutions which can transform how development happens.

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February, 2016
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Do trade deals threaten a greener future?

Andrew Raingold

Trade agreements - historically - have shown that they can be good for economic growth and good for people. They might not have been “green” but they have been generally successful in stimulating economic activity through reducing or eliminating tariffs, quotas and other trade restrictions. For example, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) stimulated an increase of foreign trade volume among its members from 3.5 to 8.2 billion US dollars between 1959 and 1967.

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December, 2015

The world can't afford another carbon cop out

Euan Munro - Aviva Investors

Light-touch regulation was one of the main causes of the global financial crisis. Yet, policymakers could be sleepwalking into a new catastrophe if COP 21 fails to agree a global mandatory target to reduce carbon emissions.

It is not just coral reefs and polar bears that are under threat if temperatures continue to rise unchecked. Climate change is a long-term and potentially irreversible trend, which could result in huge losses for the global economy, the investment industry, and the savers, pensioners and beneficiaries that depend upon it for their own future too.

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October, 2015
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UNEP Finance Inquiry launches 'The Financial System We Need' report

Green Economy Coalition

The UNEP Inquiry team, led by Mahenau Agha, Simon Zadek, and Nick Robins, have faced the challenge of harnessing the assets of the world’s financial system to deliver sustainability, and has uncovered three key findings:

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February, 2015

The Profitability of Sustainable Companies: Towards a Rating System

Luisa Nenci - SustainValues

Some investors are already screening companies through enhanced qualitative parameters. However, these practices usually lead investors to companies operating in a green sector (for example renewable energy projects) and not to “normal” companies in the process of implementing a green business model.

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January, 2015

A lesson in practical divestment: against carbon, for… what?

Chris Hopkins - Green Economy Coalition

Towards the end of 2014, carbon divestment enjoyed substantial global attention on the back of several high profile campaigns, the September UN climate summit, and IPCC confirmation of the imminent need to cut carbon to stay below 2°C warming.

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