The Inquiry is a leading international platform for advancing national and international efforts to shift the trillions required for delivering an inclusive, green economy through the transformation of the global financial system. Since launching in 2014, the Inquiry has worked with more than twenty countries on national processes, published around 90 reports and working papers and serves as the Secretariat for the G20’s Green Finance Study Group.
Its landmark 2015 report “The Financial System We Need” revealed for the first time the ‘quiet revolution’ already taking place, led particularly by some developing countries, and its potential to renew the purpose of the financial system in the context of sustainable development. The Inquiry’s 2016 edition of its global report highlights the acceleration of this positive trend with an accent on actions required to achieve the needed transformation.
Since its launch, the Inquiry has addressed 3 Core Questions:
under what circumstances should measures be taken to ensure that the financial system takes fuller account of sustainable development?
what measures have been and might be more widely deployed to better align the financial system with sustainable development?
how can such measures best be deployed?
To try and answer the above, the Inquiry has considered aspects of financial and monetary policies and financial regulations, and standards, including disclosure requirements, credit ratings, listing requirements and indices. We have also focused on the roles of the financial system’s rule-makers (central banks, financial regulators, finance ministries and standards institutions) alongside market-based standard-setters (stock exchanges and key international organizations and platforms).
The Inquiry has explored innovative experiences in advancing sustainable development through the actions of the financial system’s governing institutions. Such experiences have been examined in some depth in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, the European Union, France, Kenya, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. The Inquiry has also drawn on extensive international engagement and research on topics as diverse as green bonds, value-based banking, fiduciary responsibilities, human rights and electronic trading.
UNEP would like to thank the governments of Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland for their generous support of the Inquiry into the Design of a Financial System project.