There’s a long, long, long way to go, but there are reasons to be optimistic that the world may one day have a financial system that takes the environment into consideration, according to a United Nations Environment Programme report released Thursday.
Some changes suggested in the report, which focused on how to align established financial systems with sustainable development, are obvious, if difficult. According to the International Monetary Fund, 6.5 percent of global gross domestic product currently goes to energy subsidies. The UNEP report calls for a $6 trillion cut of public and private investments in high-polluting energy by 2030.
The agency estimates the world’s governments and private institutions should be investing $5 to $7 trillion annually on things like infrastructure improvements, clean energy, sanitation and agriculture — starting now — in order to meet the U.N.’s 2030 goals for reducing the pollution that causes climate change.
At an annual meeting with the World Bank in Lima, Peru, Wednesday night, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the organization alone doesn’t have that much money, but that there are steps it can take to address the “macro-critical” issue of climate change. That includes engaging other public and private institutions.