The world as we know it has entered an era of unprecedented uncertainty and fragility. From the Covid-19 pandemic to the war in Ukraine and the climate crisis, these major macroeconomic forces have thwarted progress on the Global Goals and nowhere is this more evident than in Asia.
The latest UN report on the Sustainable Development Goals — a collection of 17 interlinked targets adopted by all nations for a more sustainable future by 2030 — revealed that Covid-19 and the continued regression on climate action and resource use have caused the biggest slowdown in pace since the targets were set in 2015. Southeast Asia and the Pacific are particularly lagging.
Amid a diverging geopolitical landscape marked by rising energy prices, higher inflation, slower growth and increasing commodity prices, the role of sustainable finance in securing a sustainable and equitable future is more important than ever.
The 2022 Financing for Sustainable Development report by the United Nations identifies a “great finance divide” as a key driver of divergent recoveries: while developed countries were able to borrow at record-low interest rates to support economies, developing countries were limited by fiscal constraints, further exacerbating inequalities.
Meanwhile, the world faces a growing triple planetary crisis – climate, nature, and pollution — which underlines the urgent need to align all financing flows with sustainable development, and to achieve the shared goals of a greener, more inclusive and resilient recovery.
Themed ‘The role of sustainable finance in a disrupted world’, Unlocking capital for sustainability 2022 will convene its annual meeting of leading minds and actors from across government, financial institutions, business and civic society to discuss specific actions to progress sustainable finance in this region and beyond.
This year’s forum will feature four regional virtual dialogues spanning Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and India, and culminates in a two-day hybrid event held in Singapore.