There is no hope of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) without private sector investments and mobilisation of financial markets, says Sanda Ojiambo, Assistant Secretary General, United Nations Global Compact.
Ojiambo made this known on Wednesday at the United Nations‘ 2023 SDGs Investment Fair.
The fair was held in hybrid form with the theme: “Making Deals Happen: Catalyzing Capital for Resilient and Sustainable Recovery.”
It is a platform for connecting investors, private and public institutions, and representatives from the UN agencies to facilitate dealmaking in investment projects that advanced the SDGs.
According to Ojiambo, with more than 17 trillion dollars in annual investments and capital expenditures, research and development, talent and marketing companies and Chief Financial Officers(CFOs) are the main players in the sustainability transition of the global economy.
She said CFOs could increase the credibility of SDG finance by shifting from process-based to outcome-based impact measurement and from project-based to corporate wide accountability.
Ojiambo said that Direct Investments in markets, technologies, infrastructure and people were essential for achieving the SDGs.
These, she said, ranged from enabling netzero to the circular economy and carbon capture to critical domestic and foreign investment in the least developed countries.
“Even against the current backdrop of global crises, we believe there’s ample capital in the world to provide the five to seven trillion dollars needed to achieve the SDGs.
“In fact, the market for sustainable financing and investment has an estimated 31 trillion dollars.”
She, however, said much of global wealth sat in stranded assets or investments that did not advance sustainable development.
She said that 2023 marked the halfway point of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development, adding that it was a critical milestone for the private sector to revive efforts toward achieving the SDGs.
“In the coming months, we will be calling on all companies to focus their efforts in areas where they can make the greatest impact on sustainable development.
“Companies will be guided in setting targets and taking action on living wage, climate change, gender equality, water stewardship, and sustainable finance to advance the 2030 agenda as a whole,” Ojiambo said.
She further urged governments and civil society actors to join in enabling and growing up sustainability movement, adding that it was through these types of collaborations that a more just and sustainable world would be achieved. (NAN)