In 2015, world leaders signed off on a global strategy for sustainability through three major international agreements, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, the Paris Climate Agreement, and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Realizing these commitments require the “strengthening of public policies, regulatory frameworks and finance at all levels” as well as ‘unlocking the transformative potential of people and the private sector’ (Addis Agenda, para 5). Member States commit to “work towards harmonizing the various initiatives on sustainable business and financing, identifying gaps, including in relation to gender equality, and strengthening the mechanisms and incentives for compliance” in paragraph 37 of the Addis Agenda.

This report, which was commissioned by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UN-DESA), seeks to contribute to the ongoing and expanding discussion on how to increase and optimize the involvement of the private sector in financing sustainable development. Its main objective is to understand the financing challenges of the abovementioned landmark agreements through a private sector lens. The report highlights the need for a ‘sustainable financial system,’ flags the critical role of investment capital in sustainable development finance, describes drivers and barriers to investing with impact as well as to using the SDG framework of choice, and reviews available public sector mechanisms for advancing the role of private sector capital in development finance. It also lists critical success factors to public sector interventions, and begins to articulate recommendations for ongoing UN efforts to contribute to the establishment of more sustainable financial systems and the advancement of private sector investments in the 2030 Agenda. Box 0-1 Summary of Research Insights & Hypotheses summarizes the insights and hypotheses that are posited.

To download the report in PDF, please click here 


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