Opinion: Asia's road to sustainability and the role of the Financial Sector.

01 June 2021

As many around the world begin to feel the increased hope of being able to return to “normal”, the situation in India and other developing countries remain an unsettling reminder that the fight against COVID-19 in the Asia Pacific region is hardly over. It’s a stark indication that the pandemic which already pushed back an additional 89 million people into extreme poverty will continue to impact the region’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Based on current trajectory predictions, the Asia Pacific region is on track to achieve just 10 percent of its SDG targets by 2030, which makes a compelling argument to use this opportunity to build back better towards a future that is more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable.

The private sector has a crucial role in accelerating this much needed transition, specifically underscoring the role of the Asia Pacific’s financial sector. Sustainable finance has seen a near 30 per cent growth in 2020, and sustainable index equity funds also outperformed regular index funds in developed as well as emerging markets. There is clear momentum for sustainable finance in the region, which could be an important lever for change among Asian economies.

Read more as Fair Finance Asia Program Coordinator Bernadette Victorio, and World Benchmarking Alliance's Asia Policy Lead, Namit Argwal discuss sustainable finance as a critical pathway to Asia’s recovery and a just transition.