Published 2017
From fund-raising to market transformation
By Eric Usher and Careen Abb

Eric Usher is Head of the United Nations Environment Programme – Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).

Careen Abb is a Programme Lead for Positive Impact Finance at UNEP FI.

UNEP FI is a partnership between UNEP and the global financial sector created in the context of the 1992 Earth Summit with a mission to promote sustainable finance. Over 200 financial institutions, including banks, insurers and investors, work with UNEP to understand today’s environmental challenges, why they matter to finance, and how to actively participate in addressing them.

These are the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.

What does leveraging finance for sustainable development mean? In the simplest terms, it is when private capital is being raised against public capital to implement sustainable projects and attain specific development goals. Today, there is a growing palette of means by which this is achieved, from special one-on-one partnerships, to the use of match-making platforms, the development of blended finance and the recourse to green or social bonds. Another form of leverage is also at work, namely at UN Environment, through its Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).