Clear solution pathways show that the UN Sustainable Development Goals can be achieved by their 2030 deadline despite their rising costs, Force4good research finds

LONDON, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — With only seven years remaining to their 2030 deadline, meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals will require a global effort to mobilize capital, resources and stakeholders on a scale never seen before, the latest Capital as a Force for Good annual report finds.

However, there are range of existing solutions being deployed across the public and private sectors that have the potential to substantially deliver the SDGs. Policy solutions play a critical role, with the potential to achieve nearly a third of the underlying SDG targets, while public and private sector activities can close the remainder of the gap in almost equal measure.

Many of these approaches, initiatives and solutions can be either scaled, replicated, or harnessed to drive wider impact. The report identifies 15 such initiatives, which if they were scaled and implemented globally could address 70% of the SDGs. Together they show progress is possible with sufficient global support, political alignment, and targeted deployment of additional capital.

They include:

  • Sweeping national and regional policy packages, from incentive driven spending to regulation and legislation in the vein of the EU’s Green Deal policies and the Inflation Reduction Act in the US
  • Innovative financing approaches to mobilize capital and de-risk investments, such as debt for nature swaps, environmental impact bonds and carbon pricing mechanisms
  • Technology platforms to deliver digital infrastructure at scale across key areas including education, health, and finance, such as India’s ‘stack’ of technologies that have provided half a billion people with financial inclusion
  • Private sector and non-government initiatives and business models to tackle systemic issues from waste to poverty and biodiversity loss.

The global finance industry, administering 88% of the world’s financial assets, has a critical role to play in mobilizing capital for the SDGs, the report finds. Despite a global spend of around US$5 trillion in 2022 towards delivering the goals, the funding shortfall has remained stubbornly high and roughly constant compared to last year’s shortfall totalling up to US$137 trillion. Further this shortfall is occurring against a backdrop of stalled progress, with the latest UN assessment showing that none of the 17 goals are set to be achieved by 2030, raising the urgent need for scaled solutions like the ones identified in the report.

The full report, based on extensive analysis and engagement with stakeholders including some of the world’s leading financial institutions, is being published ahead of the high-level General Debate at this year’s UN General Assembly, and can act as a blueprint for renewed efforts to tackle the SDG funding shortfall most effectively.

“Because of the global challenges shaking the world over the past few years, we’ve been running to stand still in terms of making progress on the SDGs. But fundamentally the solutions exist to deliver the goals, and achieving the goals is within reach. Now we need to target efforts and resources to where the impact is greatest,” said Ketan Patel, Chairman of Force for Good and CEO of Greater Pacific Capital.

About Force for Good

Force for Good’s mission is to mobilize capital, resources, and ideas as a force for good in the world at a time of profound change. The organization’s Capital as a Force for Good Initiative engages the world’s leading financial institutions and other stakeholders, to promote sustainable development through the deployment of capital and solutions to address global issues and enable the transition to a better future.

The annual Capital as a Force for Good report, now in its fourth edition, is the result of collaboration with the United Nations and major global financial institutions, assessing the role of capital in addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

Institutions actively engaged include Bank of America, BlackRock, Bridgewater Associates, Citi, Credit Suisse, Fidelity Investments, First Abu Dhabi Bank, GIC Singapore, Goldman Sachs, Great-West Lifeco, HDFC Bank, HSBC, Investec Group, Japan Post Holdings, JPMorgan Chase, Liberty Mutual Insurance Group, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley, Nomura, Nordea, Northern Trust, OMERS, Putnam Investments, Schroders, State Street, UBS, Wellington, and others.

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