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For anyone who has been working in responsible investment over the past couple of years, 2020 has been like a face full of ice cold water.
The events of the first half of the year cut through all the fanfare we have grown used to, as we celebrate progress on ESG data quality, collaborative engagement victories, stricter disclosures regulation. They have woken us up; reminded us how unequal the world remains, how much damage we continue to do to our planet, and just how detached financial markets are from reality.
The UN predicts that 71 million people will be pushed back into extreme poverty this year, marking the first rise in global poverty in more than two decades. Yet, as the Wall Street Journal pointed out last week, “US stocks have been on a winning streak that is unprecedented in the modern era of financial markets”.
So today, on the 5th birthday of the Sustainable Development Goals, RI has decided to make a fuss.
We think it’s exactly the right time for a hearty celebration of these 17 Goals, created by the UN in 2015 as a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". A celebration, but also a stocktake. You may have read earlier this month that the pandemic has helped put the world more than 60 years behind schedule for achieving the SDGs. Responsible investors are needed more than ever before.
So, starting next week, we will be running 18 days of content dedicated to the SDGs.* Each day, you will hear from leading asset owners, managers, NGOs and other experts on how investors can, and must, support each Goal as we fight to make up for lost time.
We hope the series will help to revitalise discussion around meaningful, real-economy sustainable development as we enter a period that will include seminal climate negotiations, a key biodiversity summit, the continued fight for racial justice around the world, and historic efforts to foster a fair and sustainable recovery from COVID-19.
We look forward to seeing you there.
*In addition to your daily news