It has become obvious that achieving sustainable development cannot be achieved by government funding. Financing for sustainable development is a responsibility that is shared with the private sector, the business community and major asset’s holders, including faith-based finance and investment bodies. It is argued that such bodies are the fourth largest investment group at the global level with a great potential to influence sustainable development. However, some major questions need to be answered; What do we invest in and what do we not? How can we bridge the gap between the supply of investment capitals and the need for sustainable development projects that can make a difference? These and other questions were the center of discussions at the Faith-Consistent Investment roundtable that was organized by UN environment on 25th of April 2018 in Zurich back to back to the Responsible finance and investment summit for 2018 that was held during the period 26-27 April 2018.
The roundtable which was attended by dozens of CEOs, investment specialists and environmentalists witnessed a fruitful dialogue on integrating the principle of sustainable development in faith-consistent financing to achieve the SDGs. The roundtable was made possible by a partnership between UN Environment and the consortium of RFI, the Swiss Arab Network, the Bank of the Argentine Nation and European Network. Discussions about rethinking and adjusting the investment strategy for environmental externalities, such as climate change, have dominated the dialogue between experts from different financial institutions from around the world.
During the RFI Summit 2018 an interview with Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, director of the Faith for Earth initiative focused on the strategic role of UN Environment on integrating responsible and faith-consistent financing in its programmes. The core of the pitch was that UN Environment, as the highest authority mandated to setting global policies on the environment, can provide the window of opportunity to work with faith-based financial institutions and provide the needed portfolio of sustainable development projects as well as design and provide the products and services needed by faith-based financial institutions and others.