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.

Given the challenge of offering a development perspective to a rapidly growing population, it might be tempting for Africa to pursue a strategy of fueling growth with the cheapest source of energy available and take care of the environment later. Such an approach, however, would disregard the social cost of fossil fuels, which the population would have to bear. Using the Sustainable Development Goals as a benchmark for inclusive and sustainable growth we identify the synergy effects provided by renewable energy.
Elsevier, Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 140, 1 January 2017
The last few years have seen a phenomenal upsurge in the number of corporate bankruptcies. The vulnerabilities that were lying dormant within contemporary bankruptcy regimes suddenly became apparent, causing concerns within the international corporate community. Consequently, researchers, practitioners, and policy makers from all over the world became actively engaged in emphasizing the importance of efficient bankruptcy reforms to promote a rescue culture.
Elsevier, Energy Policy, Volume 104, 2017
First-best climate policy is a uniform carbon tax which gradually rises over time. Civil servants have complicated climate policy to expand bureaucracies, politicians to create rents. Environmentalists have exaggerated climate change to gain influence, other activists have joined the climate bandwagon. Opponents to climate policy have attacked the weaknesses in climate research. The climate debate is convoluted and polarized as a result, and climate policy complex.
Access to clean and stable energy is a major challenge for many developing African countries. This research aims to investigate ways in which financing renewable energy projects (REPs) can help to address this problem and therefore SDG7. The authors propose the promotion of the two-hand renewable energy service company (ESCO) model as an efficient financial vehicle for increasing sustainable economic development through the production of reliable and stable electricity in semi-urban and rural communities.
Hong Kong's securities regulator reported a spike in the number of instances where the city's financial firms are failing to comply with its anti-money laundering guidelines. It has long been known that money laundering can have significant negative impact on economic growth. Enforcement of regulations to eradicate money laundering contributes to advancing SDG 16.4 by 2030 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.
Human trafficking is one of the main profit-generating activities for organised criminals in Europe and the revenue generated is often laundered through the financial system. Understanding the complexities of human trafficking is vital to both SDG 8.7 to take immediate and effective measures to eradicate forced labour, end modern slavery and human trafficking and SDG 16.4 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.
The 2016 report by the Hong Kong Association of Banks (HKAB) into trade-based money laundering ups the momentum to improve anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing. Such actions will contribute to the advancement of SDG 16.4 to significantly reduce illicit financial and arms flows, strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime.
This webinar explores how taxation is steadily rising on the corporate sustainability agenda and links to Goal 10 and Goal 17.
A responsible supply chain, and eliminating corruption in the supply chain, are important elements of goals 10 and 16. This report, updated in 2016, outlines common supply chain corruption scenarios and provides a framework and set of tools for addressing them.