Bases of sustainable finance - International

Sustainability was first addressed at the first UN World Environment Conference (UNCHE) in Stockholm in 1972. Further important milestones were the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the third UN Climate Change Conference in Kyoto in 1997, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of 15 September 2015, and the UN Paris Agreement on Climate Change of 12 December 2015. The 2030 Agenda – the aim of which is a sustainable orientation of society, the economy, and the environment – comprises a total of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 sub-goals to be pursued by the Member States. The Paris Agreement is a binding agreement of the 197 parties, including not only individual states but also the European Union (EU). The parties have committed themselves to the common goal of keeping global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and reducing their emissions in general.

One of the strategies for achieving these climate goals is a targeted redirection of financial flows. Many states, the EU, numerous organisations and associations (including IOSCO and the UN), and financial intermediaries themselves have undertaken to achieve the goals of sustainable development, including by issuing and observing UN Principles for Responsible Banking (PRB), Sustainable Insurance (PSI), and Responsible Investment (PRI) as well as the Sustainable Stock Exchange Initiative (SSEI).