Members of the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres to present transformative solutions for bridging the estimated yearly gap of USD 4.3 trillion in SDG financing. The Secretary-General convened the GISD Alliance in 2019 to align, scale up, and accelerate finance and investment for the 17 Goals.
Concurrent global crises, including the war in Ukraine, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic, are threatening to derail the SDGs. “Governments on their own cannot achieve the goals. The private sector needs to play its part in financing sustainable development,” said Navid Hanif, Assistant-Secretary-General for Economic Development, UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) in an interview ahead of the Fourth Annual Meeting of the GISD Alliance.
Held in New York, US, on 12 October 2022, the meeting brought together prominent business leaders from around the world who jointly control assets worth USD 16 trillion. The meeting presented “an opportunity to explore strategic partnerships that can catalyze critical shift in the finance and investment ecosystem towards sustainable development.”
“The large and persistent SDG financing gap must spur our collective effort to scale up private finance and investment for the SDGs,” emphasized the Secretary-General, addressing participants.
There is no time to waste. We cannot afford for the SDGs to fall out of reach.
— UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Since its launch, the GISD Alliance has developed standards and tools to align investment portfolios with the SDGs, including a unified definition of Sustainable Development Investing (SDI) and SDG-aligned, sector-specific metrics that strengthen reporting and enable credible comparison of SDG performance within and across industries. Building on this work, in the past year, the Alliance “has focused on setting conditions for the scaling up of long-term private finance for sustainable development investment,” said Leila Fourie, GISD Co-Chair and CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
GISD Co-Chair and Group Chairman of Standard Chartered, José Viñals, said next year, the GISD Alliance will launch “a transformational blended finance platform that will allow for co-investment in sustainable infrastructure projects.”
According to a joint statement, over the coming 12 months, Alliance members will also continue to scale up their efforts to:
- help transform incentives that can encourage a long-term perspective in investment decision making;
- enhance the credibility and help scale the market for SDG-linked financial instruments; and
- put in place regional networks of companies committed to mobilizing finance and investment for the SDGs.
To boost financing for the SDGs, especially in developing countries, the joint statement urges, inter alia:
- investors and corporations to make investment decisions aligned with the GISD Alliance’s definition of SDI;
- global convergence of corporate sustainability-related disclosures through the creation of a common reporting baseline;
- integrating sustainable development issues into business strategies, management, and governance processes;
- asset owners and asset managers to adopt the Model Mandate and its recommendations in their business practices; and
- the global development community to strengthen project preparation activities to increase the pipeline of investable projects in developing countries.
Looking ahead, the GISD Alliance is compiling best practices among investors and corporates for integrating sustainability considerations into performance incentives. It is also developing actionable guidance for scaling and strengthening the sustainable bond market. [GISD Alliance News Release] [UN News Story] [DESA News Story] [SDG Knowledge Hub Story on GISD Alliance Launch]