Inquiry Global Report: The Financial System We Need

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October 2015
Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System (UN Environment Inquiry), United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)

This publication marks the final report of the UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System. It argues that there is now a historic opportunity to shape a financial system that can more effectively finance the development of an inclusive, green economy. This opportunity is based on a growing trend in policy innovation from central banks, financial regulators and standard setters, who are incorporating sustainability factors into the rules that govern the financial system. The report draws together practical examples of policy changes in banking, capital markets, insurance and institutional investment, drawing on detailed work in countries such as Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, France, India, Indonesia, Kenya, South Africa, the UK and the USA. It offers a Framework for Action that shows how a systematic approach can now be taken at both the national and international levels. 

The report's three main messages are:

  • Financing for sustainable development can be delivered through action within the financial system, as well as in the real economy.
  • Policy innovation from developing and developed countries demonstrate how the financial system can be better aligned with sustainable development.
  • Systematic national action can now be taken to shape a sustainable financial system, complemented by international cooperation.

This report is also available in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish, all of which can be accessed here