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Roadmap for a Sustainable Financial System

Historically the financial system has responded to the needs of the time. A global consensus has arisen that sustainable growth will be one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century— as demonstrated by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted as part of its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development—along with the measures to combat climate change and adapt to its effects that are part of the Paris Agreement. As in previous structural transformations, the financial system will play a major role in this process: the full potential of the financial system needs to be harnessed to serve as an engine in the global economy’s transition toward sustainable development.

The objective of this Roadmap is to propose an integrated approach that can be used by all financial sector stakeholders—both public and private—to accelerate the transformation toward a sustainable financial system. This approach can bring policy cohesiveness across ministries, central banks, financial regulators, and private financial sector participants to focus efforts.

The ultimate vision that the Roadmap seeks to reach is one of a financial system that integrates sustainability considerations into its operations, including the full costing of positive and negative externalities that sustainability implies, leading to a reorientation of the flow of resources toward more inclusive and sustainable activities.

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United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment)
1 February 2018

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