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Fintech and Sustainable Development: Assessing the Implications

Finance is a system in constant flux. At present, the financial system is in both turmoil and transition. The financial crisis and its aftermath caused enormous turmoil and led to an extended period of low growth and instability across the international political economy. Transition of the financial system is in part driven by this turmoil, through policy and regulatory drivers, and heightened the influence of emerging nations in shaping global finance.

Transition is driven by broader historic developments, including sustainable development and financial technology innovations. The world is struggling to address growing inequality, the impacts of climate change and widespread deterioration in the natural wealth that sustains communities and underpins the global economy. The current turmoil is driven in part inadequate policy responses to these challenges. This imperative may seem distant from the financial system, but nothing is further from the truth. As the UNEP Inquiry has spelled out in both editions of its global report, “The Financial System We Need”, realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and climate commitments agreed in 2015 depends in part on a reset of the global financial system to ensure that private capital is redeployed to finance the transition to an inclusive, green economy.

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United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
15 December 2016

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