The financial system needs to serve as the nervous system of the global economy rather than its master.
The costs of the 2007 global financial crisis illustrate this point. While industry lobbyists may point out that the bailouts are “only” equivalent to 1 per cent of gross domestic product in the United States, the multiplier costs of the ongoing recession and public debt debacle are substantial.
The crux of IISD's work on finance stems from our conviction that the root causes of the 2007 crisis remain largely unaddressed. While we welcome the raft of regulatory and governance reforms on both sides of the Atlantic, they focus on potentially making the existing system safer rather than addressing the fault lines that led to the 2007 crisis. The ongoing reforms also failed to increase fiduciary responsibility across the many actors in the financial services sector. Peer-to-peer fiduciary responsibility is critical to ensuring the stability of financial markets, both nationally and globally.
Broader structural reforms are therefore needed if the financial system and sector are to deliver on sustainable development. And these reforms need to be implemented in a coordinated manner across industrialized and lower-income geographies. Only then can we level the playing field across global financial markets and reward prudent regulation, good corporate governance and long-term value creation.
Sustainable Investing: Shaping the future of finance
A report on how sustainable investing will become mainstream in the financial industry.Read More
How Institutional Arrangements Can Engage Small Businesses in Climate Adaptation
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises need a supportive environment of institutional, legal and policy frameworks to adapt to climate change.Read More
World Bank–IMF Development Committee Stresses Institutional Accountability at Spring Meetings, Amid Planned IFC Reforms
Communities may be able to sue international financial institutions when their livelihoods and well-being have been harmed by development.Read More
Launching the Sustainable Finance Map of Geneva
A new map of sustainable finance players in Geneva could be a vital tool to scaling up funding for the Sustainable Development Goals.Read More
How Can Public Procurement in Canada’s Trade Agreements Contribute to Sustainable Development?
Imagine this: A municipality pledges to make all of its buildings carbon-neutral by 2050.To do so, it needs to invest in renovations using the most...Read More
Leveraging Sustainable Finance Leadership in Canada: Opportunities to align financial policies to support clean growth and a sustainable Canadian economy
Our policy roadmap shares how mandatory climate risk disclosure and actions by the Canadian government and financial actors can empower meaningful climate action.Read More
Ten Years of G20 Summits: Hopes and failures
Does the G20 have anything to offer in a world of conflict and confusion?Read More
What's Stalling the G20's Move to Clean Energy?
Next year will mark a decade since G20 leaders met in Pittsburgh and promised to identify and eliminate subsidies to fossil fuels. In that time, trillions of dollars in government budgets have been spent to subsidize fossil fuel production and consumption.Read More
Sustainable Finance Key to Low-Carbon Economic Transition
Canada’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance released its interim report yesterday with a clear message that harnessing the country’s financial assets is essential for a successful low-carbon transition.Read More
Cleaning up Toxic Soils in China: A trillion-dollar question
In its latest effort to address environmental problems, China has adopted its first soil pollution law. However, how to finance the remediation of the damage already done remains a big question.Read More