In the last two years, the interlinked financial, food, and fuel crises, coupled with geopolitical uncertainties, have caused turbulence in financial markets and disrupted business investment plans. Despite this, sustainable finance has continued to thrive and offers a path to sustainable development. The market has expanded, evidenced by the growing number of sustainable financial products, increasing capital flowing into sustainability-themed products, and new market initiatives developed by regulators, exchanges, assets owners, and managers.
According to UNCTAD, sustainability-focused financial products targeting sustainable development-related sectors or themes reached over $5.2 trillion in 2021, up 63% from 2020. Sustainable funds, green and social bonds have become crucial investment vehicles that channel much-needed funding into infrastructure, health, education, climate change mitigation, and adaptation.
Nevertheless, sustainable investment is still in its early stages. Sustainable funds and bonds represent only 3% and 1% of global funds and bonds assets, respectively. Developing economies remain so far underserved by the sustainable finance market, with a negligible market share in sustainable investment. Meanwhile, a lack of industry standards and transparency has given rise to ESG/SDG washing concerns.
The conference will bring together market leaders from the fund and asset management industry, institutional investors, stock exchanges, and other stakeholders to discuss ways to grow sustainable finance from a "market niche" to a "market norm," which can drive sustainable and inclusive development in both developed and developing countries and contribute to the attainment of the SGGs. Participants will focus in particular on options for the industry to boost finance in support of climate change mitigation, especially in developing countries, providing insights and ideas that can feed into discussions at COP28, which will take place a month later in the UAE.
- How can sustainable financial products, and sustainable finance in general, grow from “market niche” to “market norm”? What’s the role of market leaders?
- How can sustainable finance contribute to the energy transition especially in developing countries? What are the challenges and opportunities?
- How can asset owners and managers, regulators and other stakeholders work together to improve the quality and maximize the development impact of sustainable investment products?
- How can developing economies tap into the potential offered by the sustainable fund market?