In a joint effort between the World Bank Group and several other global financial institutions, they produced a document entitled “From Billions to Trillions: Transforming Development Finance”. The purpose of the document was to explain that the steps needed in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require more than money. It needs a global change of mindsets, approaches and partnerships to reflect and transform the new reality of a developing world.
The proposed SDG’s are very ambitious. They aim to meet the challenges of overcoming poverty and protecting the planet, but they go further. They highlight a comprehensive vision of sustainable development that embraces economic, social and environmental dimensions. The financing resources needed to achieve the this will soon surpass current development financial flows.
More financial resources are available globally, but channeling them will be a challenge. Reflecting developments in the global economy over the last decade, large amounts of available resources, mostly private, are available in advanced and emerging economies. In addition, domestic public resources, even in low-income countries, can be increased. However, not all available public and private resources will automatically be allocated and used effectively to support the SDG’s.
A paradigm shift on how development will be financed is required to unlock the resources needed to achieve these goals. The world needs intelligent development finance that goes well beyond filling financing gaps and that can be used strategically to unlock, leverage, and catalyze private flows and domestic resources.
For many industries, external factors will become more and more of an internal reality in the coming years. Financial decisions and investments can no longer be viewed in isolation from the inevitable emerging trend. Investors in businesses that fail to improve the use of raw materials or that have a negative impact on biodiversity will likely see policies and public opinion turn against them.
Most of all, this is a tremendous opportunity for individuals companies. The SDG’s provide a shared language, ambition and targets with which companies can communicate consistently and more effectively with their stakeholders regarding their impact and behavior. Also, it will become easier to find partners with a common purpose. The goals are an important focal point for the near future and they will be used to point public and private investments towards companies that are capable of bringing about innovative solutions and real change.
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