Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2018

Disciplines

Environmental Law | Law

Center/Program

Sabin Center for Climate Change Law

Abstract

Some political narratives describe the relationship between environmental protection and economic growth as two inherently incompatible goals. As the global community turns its attention to implementing international climate agreements, this story is ceding ground to the realization that the economy must facilitate a transition to sustainability. With limited government funding available, private investments offer an opportunity to dramatically increase and leverage funding to address daunting environmental problems. Green financing will play a critical role in the shift to a green economy.

Governments, intergovernmental organizations, financial institutions, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are examining green financing mechanisms in earnest. Financial institutions are enabling investment in green infrastructure, and many have signed on to the Equator Principles, a risk management framework for determining, assessing, and managing environmental and social risk in projects. NGOs and governments are promoting public policies that encourage investments in sustainability, and developing public and private mechanisms to facilitate investments in environmentally beneficial projects, such as the Paris Climate Agreement's Green Climate Fund. With targets including pollution control, biodiversity protection, and materials management, as well as investments directly related to decreasing reliance on fossil fuels, the impacts of green financing could reshape the landscape for environmental professions. On June 6, 2017, ELI held a public seminar to present recent developments in this field. Below we present a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

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