United Nations: Thirty top business leaders seek to encourage private investment to help the United Nations achieve its 2030 development goals, including tackling climate change, preserving the environment, eradicating poverty, promoting economic growth, and improving health care and education.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who launched the Global Investors Alliance for Sustainable Development two years ago, said in a virtual meeting on Tuesday that he counts on the group to catalyze greater investment for developing countries and achieve net (carbon) emissions. Sustainability is at the core of everyone’s policies and business models.
The Business Leaders Alliance says that since its inception, it has worked with the United Nations and other partners to develop standards, tools and products to attract long-term investment in sustainable development.
There has long been a perception that traditional investments will yield a greater financial return than sustainable investment, the UN chief economist, Elliot Harris, said at a press conference after a virtual meeting on Tuesday.
This is increasingly no longer true, he said. Sustainable investments generate very good financial returns and have the advantage of long-term contribution to promoting greater sustainability.
An important aspect of the Alliance’s work, Harris said, is “the fact that people are not asked to do something against their best interest, but rather to convince them that there is no financial disadvantage and that such investments contribute to a more sustainable future.”
What is also important, he said, is that the exchanges provide evidence that the return on sustainable investments is comparable.
The group’s co-chair, Laila Faury, who is the group’s chief executive officer at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, said the group’s primary goal is to address the obstacles to transferring much larger sums to achieve UN goals.
We’re seeing tremendous interest from investors in products that adequately direct funding explicitly to either green, blue or social goals, she said, referring to green investments to preserve the environment and tackle global warming, and blue investments to preserve the world’s waterways and save the oceans. and social investments to fund social initiatives to address a range of issues including the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Faury said it’s launching blue, green and social bonds, and we’re also on the cusp of launching transition bonds to enable fossil-fuel-heavy companies to transition to a greener environment.
She said that on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, our Social Links Index has outperformed our benchmarks in returns over the past three years.
Faury said the new data also showed that sustainable businesses are less vulnerable to severe shocks and disruptions as a result of, for example, oil spills or regulatory fines.
Over the past two years, the coalition said, it has created a web-based platform to enable investors to identify opportunities in developing markets that support sustainable development, and Mellah to enable users to align their business activities with UN goals. It also issued more than 60 recommendations for expanding investment in the Goals.
With the upcoming launch of a climate-free exchange-traded fund (ETF) and a hybrid fund to invest in sustainable infrastructure, we are moving towards creating real opportunities for financing,” said Oliver Baty, co-chair of the alliance, and CEO of Germanys Allianz SE.
Business leaders in the alliance come from nearly 24 countries around the world and include corporations, large institutional investors, stock exchanges, commercial banks, technology, energy and manufacturing.
They include the CEOs of Citigroup and Bank of America in the US, UBS Group in Switzerland, Aware Super in Australia, CIMB in Malaysia, Infosys in India and Pensions Pensions in Nigeria, as well as heads of the Agricultural Bank of China, UAE . The Environmental Group and SulAmerica in Brazil, and the heads of the State Pension Investment Fund in Japan and Mexicos Consejo Mexicano de Negocios.
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