July 2014

The UN Environment Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System (the Inquiry) released their Green Finance Progress Report highlighting some of the progress made on green finance internationally over the last twelve months. While not exhaustive, the Inquiry’s report “indicates that momentum is growing in mainstreaming green finance into the architecture and practice of financial and capital markets.”

The background paper is a contribution to the G20 Green Finance Study Group (GFSG), which was established in 2016 under China’s G20 Presidency to support “strong, sustainable and balanced growth” by exploring options to scale green financing.  The G20 Green Finance Synthesis Report, adopted at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Hangzhou in September 2016, set out seven options identified by the GFSG to accelerate the mobilization of green finance. It is against these seven options that the Green Finance Progress Report measures progress.

“The world has committed to creating a better future for people and planet. But we will not be able to achieve our sustainable vision without the global financial system using its capital to fuel the transformation,” said Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment.

“This new research from UN Environment, a contribution to the G20 Green Finance Study Group, shows encouraging progress in this regard. From a record number of new green finance measures to ambitious plans for green finance hubs, we are seeing the smart money move to green financing.”

In the report, the Inquiry demonstrates that “more measures related to green finance have been introduced since June 2016 compared with any other one-year period since 2000,” according to UN Environment analysis.

The report identifies three mutually reinforcing green finance trends:

  1. increasingly systemic national action
  2. greater international cooperation, and
  3. increased market leadership at the individual and collective level.

Overall, the paper signals a very positive picture of progress made at national and international level, as well as in the financial markets.


The Green Finance Progress Report is available here.

More information on the Inquiry is available at: www.unep.org/inquiry and www.unepinquiry.org.