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Conservation finance: It’s time to see where we are

Sustainable finance initiatives are great, but now is a good moment to take stock of the progress on commitments already made.


Being engaged in sustainable finance, you can lose track of reality. At conferences, when new initiatives are being launched thick and fast, it can feel like we are far along the path to remaining within a 1.5-degree warming scenario, or stopping the onslaught of species extinction, or helping three billion people earn more than $2.50 a day – pick your Sustainable Development Goal. 

And then of course, everyone goes home.

The Climate Week and UN General Assembly in September felt particularly intense, bordering on surreal, and several bankers I spoke with made the same observation. 

For one, Greta Thunberg had sailed in – the 21st-century Joan of Arc, sincerely rallying for her peers and the planet they will inherit, only to see her underlying message playing second fiddle to her now celebrity status. 

“Did you see Greta?” echoed across the city from excited adults. 

Greta Thurnberg_300
Environmental activist Greta Thunberg
sailed in for Climate Week

I mentioned Greta to a group of students as part of a presentation on sustainable finance.

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