2015 was a landmark year for multilateral agreements. The 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement on climate change provide a pathway for a more prosperous, equitable and sustainable future. The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) establishes a blueprint to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda by providing a global framework for financing sustainable development that aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities.
The Secretary-General of the United Nations released his Strategy for financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in September 2018. The Secretary-General articulated the Strategy in recognition of the need to galvanise global action -both from the public and private sectors- for accelerated implementation of the multilateral development agendas agreed and adopted in 2015. This Report presents the three-year Roadmap to implement the Secretary-General’s Financing Strategy. It consists of specific actions and initiatives to mobilize investment and support for financing the 2030 Agenda.
The Strategy focuses on 3 objectives, namely:
1. Aligning global economic policies and financial systems with the 2030 Agenda.
2. Enhancing sustainable financing strategies and investments at regional and country levels.
3. Seizing the potential of financial innovations, new technologies and digitalization to provide equitable access to finance.
The actions focus on six ‘game-changing areas’ – that is, areas where change can address systemic impediments and leverage high impact opportunities to fundamentally shift the volumes and patterns of investments to the levels required to meet the SDGs and Paris Agreement, while at the same time, ‘leaving no one behind’. The 6 action areas are:
1. Integrate the SDGs and Paris Agreement into Economic & Financial Policies and Practice.
2. Scale-up Climate Finance.
3. Highlight the needs of LDCs and SIDS.
4. Establish Global Platforms.
5. Strengthen Partnerships with IFIs.
6. Accelerate the work of the UN System.
Across the 6 action areas, the Secretary-General has 15 ‘key asks’ for policy-makers and regulators, the financial industry, shareholders and citizens, IFIs, and the UN system. Positive change in response to these key asks will both address systemic impediments and leverage high impact opportunities to increase financing sustainable development.
Call on policy-makers and regulators to:
1. Price externalities into the economic and financial system.
2. Integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into the concept of fiduciary duty.
3. Put in place policies and regulations that create incentives for market investment in green, low-carbon infrastructure and for divestment from carbon intensive technologies.
4. Prevent receipt of illicit flows, assist in repatriating such flows and prosecute perpetrators.
5. Meet official development assistance (ODA) commitments, shift ODA from ex-post disaster management to ex-ante disaster risk reduction (DRR) and resilience in LDCs and SIDS, and support graduating LDCs to enhance access to new sources of financing.
6. Regulate new digital financial sectors to address cybercrime and money laundering, provide efficient financial intermediation for inclusion and remittances, and mitigate the risks of misuse and unintended consequences.
Call on the financial industry to:
7. Disclose and incorporate long-term risk into investment decision making.
8. Implement sustainable investing strategies, scale up green financial instruments, measure and report on impact.
9. Engage with fossil fuel companies, divest from those unwilling to shift their business models towards low carbon trajectories, and scale-up investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Call on shareholders and citizens to:
10. Increase demand for greener, more sustainable investments of their assets, and greater sustainability disclosure to increase accountability and transparency.
Call on IFIs to:
11. Work more closely with the UN system through country platforms, notably to increase climate finance, catalyse private finance, and promote financial innovation.
12. Improve debt sustainability by addressing structural issues, curbing illicit financial flows, and developing innovative debt instruments for investment in DRR and resilience.
Accelerate the work of the UN System to:
13. Increase support to countries to develop integrated national financing frameworks, identify and formulate a pipeline of bankable SDG projects, and improve progressive, gender-sensitive taxation.
14. Create a shared understanding of sustainable investing practices and improve the quality and availability of SDG investment data in developing countries. 15. Promote a healthy fintech environment in developing countries and strengthen partnerships with development and private finance providers to invest in digital finance solutions for the SDGs.