"Force for Good" is a Powerful Call for All

In a world destabilized by the global coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath, the sense of urgency in addressing global challenges related to sustainability, development and inclusion has grown exponentially over the course of the past year. The pandemic has highlighted starkly the interconnected nature of the world and demonstrated that the achievement of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals is now even more clearly required to establish a sound platform from which the world can move forward. However, funding for the goals continues to lag far behind what is required, and the SDG funding gap continues to grow due to both the social and economic shocks of the pandemic and the increasing cost of addressing key issues such as climate change, with the funding shortfall for the SDGs estimated at US$8.4-10.1 trillion, every year for the next decade. Private sector capital will be critical if this gap is to be closed, and even that will not be sufficient without a new compact between all stakeholders. There is also a renewed sense of hope that many of these challenges can be addressed as more voices, and more capital, join the call to act.

Stimulus in the tens of trillions has been deployed by national governments and central banks across the world, backed by international and regional development financial institutions, in bold moves to forestall the worst of the consequences of a debilitating pandemic and protect their populations, contributing to an overall increase in global household wealth of nearly US$30 trillion during the past year. Given most of this has accrued in developed countries, these measures have not made a significant difference to the nearly 70% of the world’s economies that lack the financial capacity to engage in a significant level of fiscal or monetary stimulus on their own who, unaided, will continue to struggle with the virus and its long-term economic consequences. A two-tier world seems very possible. During the past year, the leaders among the finance industry have deployed capital in record amounts to address global issues with over US$824 billion dedicated to climate change, US$433 billion of local community financing and US$33 billion in social inclusion funding, and many, many smaller institutions the world over are playing their part too.

The world will need bigger ideas and innovations, bolder actions, greater financing, and heightened levels of cooperation if it is to avoid the severe competition, conflict and suffering that will result from the world failing to secure a sustainable future for all in the next decade. The world risks a human security crisis, alongside a planetary ecosystem one, in the decade to come.

While finance industry leaders are raising the scale and scope of their initiatives, this is clearly a problem beyond any one group and requires a multi-stakeholder approach as a matter of urgency, one in which the finance industry has an outsized role to play given its stewardship of over 85% of the world’s c.US$400 trillion gross liquid financial assets.

The second Capital as a Force for Good report is a resource that provides much-needed data required to understand the scale of the transition underway, the size of the current financing gap facing the world, as well as some of the important elements of potential answers on the way ahead. Achieving this transition is not only our collective challenge but also the opportunity to create a far better future for us all.

Best wishes for our collective future.

Ketan Patel, Chairman, Force for Good

Chair of the Advisory Council, Capital as a Force for Good Initiative

  • Helen Alderson  |

  •   Edward Braham  |

  •   Nitin Desai  |

  •   Garry Jacobs  |

  •   Anja Kaspersen  |

  •   Jonathan Miller  |

  •   Sir Alan Parker