The financial sector plays a pivotal role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Introduced by the United Nations in 2015, the SDGs represent a blueprint for achieving a better and more sustainable future for all by addressing critical global challenges, including poverty, inequality, climate change, and environmental degradation. But the accomplishment of these goals requires substantial resources. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) estimates that achieving the SDGs could require investments of $5-7 trillion per year. As such, the financial industry's role is indispensable.

One of the main ways in which finance connects to the SDGs is through the provision of the necessary funding to achieve these goals. This can take several forms, including direct funding from banks and financial institutions, impact investment, which aims at generating social and environmental impact alongside a financial return, and innovative financial mechanisms such as green or sustainable bonds.

Moreover, SDG 17 explicitly recognises the role of finance, calling for strengthening the means of implementation and revitalising the global partnership for sustainable development. It seeks to mobilise additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources and promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization.

Furthermore, financial institutions can adopt sustainable practices in their operations, contributing to several SDGs. For example, by offering financial services to unbanked or underbanked populations, financial institutions can contribute to SDG 1 (No Poverty) and SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities). Similarly, by adopting sustainable investment criteria, financial institutions can foster sustainable industries, thereby contributing to SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production).

Finally, finance plays a role in managing the economic risks associated with sustainability challenges. For instance, by taking into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria in their risk assessments, financial institutions can help mitigate the financial risks associated with climate change and other environmental and social threats.

However, integrating sustainable development into the financial sector also entails challenges. These include the need for a better understanding of the financial risks and opportunities associated with sustainable development, the need for enhanced disclosure and transparency around sustainable finance activities, and the need for more consistent and standardised sustainable finance taxonomies and metrics.

This article advances SDG # 13 by arguing that flaws with carbon offsets, such as exaggerated climate benefits, emission avoidance rather than carbon removal, non-durable carbon storage, greenwashing, and double-counting, ultimately make the current system incompatible with the Paris Agreement.
In this episode of the "World We Want" podcast, Márcia Balisciano speaks to Dr. Christian Leitz, Managing Director, Secretary of Corporate Culture and Responsibility Committee, and Group Historian and Lead for Long-Term Archives at UBS. During the course of their conversation they cover the challenges to achieving sustainability from all aspects—from historical lessons to providing financial impetus to invest in sustainability.
This article supports SDG # 13 by calculating the share of climate damages that fossil fuel companies owe the world.

One Earth, Volume 5, 20 May 2022

This article proposes a feasible framework to operate a global market of blue carbon, which helps to mitigate climate change.
Major infrastructure financiers will have to significantly decarbonize their investments to meet mounting promises to cut carbon emissions to “net-zero” by mid-century. We provide new details about those needed shifts. Using two World Bank databases of infrastructure projects throughout the developing world, and applying a methodology for imputing the projects' likely future carbon output, we assess the emissions profile of power-plant projects executed from 2018 through 2020 — the three years immediately preceding the spate of net-zero pledges.

Economically viable electric vehicle lithium-ion battery recycling is increasingly needed; however routes to profitability are still unclear. We present a comprehensive, holistic techno-economic model as a framework to directly compare recycling locations and processes, providing a key tool for recycling cost optimization in an international battery recycling economy. We show that recycling can be economically viable, with cost/profit ranging from (−21.43 - +21.91) $·kWh−1 but strongly depends on transport distances, wages, pack design and recycling method.

Wetlands provide ∼$47.4 trillion/year worth of ecosystem services globally and support immense biodiversity, yet face widespread drainage and pollution, and large-scale wetlands restoration is urgently needed. Payment for ecosystem service (PES) schemes provide a viable avenue for funding large-scale wetland restoration. However, schemes around the globe differ substantially in their goals, structure, challenges, and effectiveness in supporting large-scale wetland restoration.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
The climate policy discourse on Loss and Damage has been considering options for averting, minimizing and addressing critical and increasingly systemic climate-related risks in vulnerable countries. Research has started to identify possible finance sources and mechanisms, but stopped short of positioning those options along a comprehensive risk management framework in line with the whole scope of Loss&Damage.
Slow-onset events (SOE) such as sea level rise, desertification, salinisation, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity and forests or glacial retreat fall under loss and damage (L&D) from climate change impacts under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and are increasingly threatening the environment and people's livelihoods. Irreversible SOE are closely linked to non-economic losses (NEL) such as health, human mobility or loss of ecosystem services. Neither L&D from SOE nor NELs have a dedicated funding stream.