Mobilising investment for the SDGs in Latin America

| The European | 25 April 2019

Since the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the United Nations in 2015, public sector and private companies in Latin America have shown concerted interest in supporting the motion. Given that the region represents over half of the planet’s rainforests (and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world), Latin America desperately needs a long-term agenda that prioritises
its environmental, economic and social challenges, which include severe income inequality and the lack of quality education.

The launch of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has made it clear that the global community relies heavily on the private sector to solve many of the most urgent problems facing civilisation. Both companies and institutional investors are being asked to contribute to the SDGs through their business activities, asset allocation and investment decisions.

Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) has long believed that institutional investors have a vital role to play in advancing the 2030 agenda and the organisation is working with investors and other stakeholders to answer the fundamental question: What is the investment case for the SDGs? PRI has therefore developed a study together with PwC entitled: “The Investment Case of the SDGs”, which raises arguments to motivate large investors to finance the 17 SDGs.

The study shows that in the context in which investors operate in the 21st century, not paying attention to a framework generally accepted by more than 195 countries, and that has already been implemented by thousands of companies, may be a clear breach of their fiduciary duty. It is for this reason that PRI will continue to support the development of studies and the structuring of guides and tools that allow institutional investors to play a fundamental role in financing the SDG agenda by 2030.

PRI is working with investors in Spanish-speaking Latin America through a new strategy that began in 2018 and is looking to increase PRI presence in the region in coming years. As of January 2019, PRI had 20 signatories with assets under management (AUM) close to $170bn. As part of its 10-year blueprint, PRI wants to focus on bringing its signatories in the region tools for them to play a more active role in the conversation on how to finance the 17 SDGs in Latin America. ν

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