UN Seeks Investors for Projects to Meet 2030 Sustainable Goals

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Some of the world’s largest financial institutions are teaming up with the United Nations to connect investors with projects that help achieve the body’s sustainable development goals by 2030.

The Global Investors for Sustainable Development Alliance -- whose members include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund -- has created an investor platform with the United Nations Development Programme. The online tool aims to spur private sector investments in projects by giving country level market intelligence, including on-the-ground insights into the local investment landscape and connections with relevant partners.

“Increasing transparency and matching of demand and supply is key for the success of SDG-oriented investments,” said Allianz SE chief executive officer Oliver Baete and JSE Ltd. CEO Leila Fourie, who co-chair the UN-backed alliance, in a joint statement. The platform will be a resource “for all like-minded investors, development finance institutions and governments.”

The UN’s 17 sustainable development goals -- from ending poverty and hunger to reducing inequality and protecting marine life -- are already used as a guide for decision-making by many impact investors. While climate action has so far captured market attention with a surge in renewable energy stocks and green bond issuance, more focus is being put on the UN’s social goals as the clock ticks toward 2030.

Developing countries are facing a shortfall of $4.2 trillion in the financing they would need this year to keep them on track for the 2030 goals, according to data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Reallocating just 1.1% of the total assets held by banks, institutional investors, or asset managers would be sufficient to fill the gap, the UN said.

This year has already seen a wave of impact funds and bonds aimed at achieving the goals. Bank of America has made a $1.5 trillion commitment to them, while Ray Dalio’s hedge fund Bridgewater Associates is opening two sustainable funds in 2021 that pick securities aligned with the goals.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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