On Monday 12 June 2017, at the conclusion of a two-day G7 Ministerial Meeting on Environment in Bologna, Italy, the G7 released a communiqué acknowledging “that scaling up sustainable finance is fundamental to achieve sustainability and climate goals”. The G7 also recognized the importance of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) encouraging public-private partnership.

The sustainable finance movement is rapidly accelerating globally. UNEP FI’s members, who are leading financial institutions, represent $62 trillion in assets. The G20 has established a green finance study group and countries including China, France, and the UK have initiatives to increase private capital for climate and sustainability.

Nick Robins, Co-Director of the Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, stated that, “G7 nations hold the bulk of the world’s financial assets and often lead the pack in terms of making environmental and social factors a core aspect of banking, investment and insurance. We need to take this positive momentum to scale, so that finance supports the transition to a sustainable economy, particularly the needs of entrepreneurs and small businesses.”

The Inquiry presented two reports which outline strategies to ensure SMEs and financial centres are part of the sustainability solution and describe how the G7 and other countries could encourage their financial centres to scale up sustainable finance thereby creating “a race to the top”.

Canada, who will take over the G7 Presidency next, supported the statement and asserted that they would continue the work stating that “the environment and economy went together.”

For more information please read the UN Environment press release.