It’s time to treat sustainable finance as the mainstream.
Its transition from a niche in the charitable, development, and quasi-governmental realms to the industry-wide norm is well and truly underway; where it is not, such a transition is both inevitable and imminent. It is encouraging to see many in international finance centres – such as Jersey Finance – taking a lead. But the scale and speed of the change will require substantial engagement and effort by industry, regulators, and governments in IFCs if the new opportunities are to be seized and the challenges addressed.
In our research and modelling work in this space to date, we take sustainable finance to include all those investment and financing activities that purport to focus on the integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, norms-based screening, positive screening and/or sustainability themes linked to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, as well as pure ‘impact investments’. It is a wide and heterogeneous spectrum.
At last count, there were 12 different COVID-19 vaccines approved for use or approaching the end of clinical trials[i].
Although there is a way to go until humanity is out of the woods, nations are beginning to look beyond the fight against this viral menace and starting to consider the challenges they face on the long and rocky road to economic recovery.
Leaving aside the damage done to public finances and ballooning government debt[ii], it is widely agreed that the pandemic has hidden major systemic issues[iii] within the global economy which will be back with a vengeance once the world recovers.