Davos WEF
Davos WEF

Private sector being fatefully ignored in green project fundraising, says UBS

Aline Ranaivoson | AFP | Getty Images

Policymakers are dismally failing to adequately incorporate private capital into green initiatives, according to a white paper released by UBS in conjunction with the 2017 World Economic Forum in Davos.

The Swiss bank says private capital faces numerous obstacles to investing in sustainable projects, meaning critical funds are prevented from supporting the innovative solutions needed to help the world manage its next phase of growth.

"The world cannot go on growing as it has been," warns the introductory letter penned by Chairman Axel Weber and Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti.

"While global imbalances like uneven growth, wealth inequality, and environmental degradation have generally raised living standards, unsustainable growth now puts future living standards at risk, and can imperil the welfare of the generations to come," it continues.

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UBS backs the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a list of seventeen aspirations for underpinning global growth which went into effect in January 2016 and includes broad aims such as achieving "no poverty" and "zero hunger".

The Swiss bank claims that there are significant funds available to be deployed in pursuit of realizing the SDGs both in terms of philanthropy and investment opportunities, yet "many of the numerous SDG funding gap initiatives overlook private wealth".

Turning to solutions, UBS encourages the creation of platforms which can help connect potential donors, investors and recipients to stimulate discussions and the identification of where needs can be matched. The white paper also advocates facilitating the pooling of wealth to ensure greater clout for private capital and the possibility of taking a more consequential stakeholder role in SDG-related projects. Improved measurement, data availability and transparency are also called for.

"Divided, the best efforts to change our world to become more sustainable will fail. Together, we can create a better, balanced, and more sustainable future," concludes the research.

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