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War and crises also set the world back in terms of UNO Sustainable Development Goals - But there are rays of hope

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Summary

Barely eight years remain to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Neither the world nor Switzerland is on course. To master this mammoth task, a united effort is needed from politics, business and civil society. The financial industry in particular still has great untapped potential.

"Funding fossil fuels is delusional and funding renewable energy is rational", António Guterres, UN Secretary-General

What is it about

The world has set itself ambitious goals: The 2030 Agenda is an action plan consisting of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). All member countries of the United Nations are working together to achieve these goals by 2030. At the halfway point, reports have been written on this at international and national level.

The Sustainable Development Report of the Bertelsmann Foundation and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDSN states that the world as a whole has made no progress for the second year in a row and that the goals cannot be achieved by 2030 at the current pace.

This less than rosy outlook is also reflected in the assessment of Switzerland's efforts: we are only on track for one of the 17 SDGs (Goal 7, affordable and clean energy) and incur large external costs, particularly in the thematic area of "economy and finance".

Although Switzerland's official report, which is also published halfway through the year, is formulated more optimistically than that of SDSN, the official side also mentions topics such as climate and biodiversity in which Switzerland has some catching up to do. The Swiss financial sector in particular is seen as playing an important role in achieving the SDGs.

Swiss civil society published its own conclusion and calls a spade a spade: Switzerland is not on course to achieve the SDGs. In order to achieve this, the financial industry, among other things, must be transformed.

Why is this important

The data collected in the reports show that the overlap between pandemic and wars in particular has led to a step backwards. The big challenge now is to structure acute crisis management wherever possible in such a way that it is also geared towards long-term development goals at the same time. A good example of this is the "Lugano Principles", which were elaborated in the framework of the "Ukraine Recovery Conference". They focus, amongst others, on sustainability, gender equality and inclusion as well as democratic participation and transparency.

The SDGs are formulated as a global framework to which everyone must contribute. At the same time, everyone benefits if the goals are achieved. The importance of the SDGs will therefore continue to grow. Both society as a whole and the financial sector must adapt to this.

The Globalance view

The financial industry has a lot of leverage. The SDGs are already part of our Globalance Footprint, which we use to assess sustainability. Nevertheless, we are looking for new, innovative data that allows us to better assess the contribution of companies and projects. In concrete terms, we are already implementing the recommendation of the Swiss Country Report and are not investing in greenhouse gas-intensive companies. On the contrary, below we link this article with tags directly to examples of companies from our portfolios that have a strong SDG record.

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