This book is about what Mark Carney has called ‘the social licence for financial markets’ and how it can point us towards a more sustainable future. What it reveals contrasts sharply with the usual portrayals of markets as places of unrestrained financial self-interest: a more complex reality in which powerful justice-focused aspirations are also in play. Increased attention to this can positively impact individual, institutional, and systemic behaviour: change, not imposed by regulators, but emerging from the very substance of market relationships.
The finance sector should have a key role in addressing humanity’s core sustainability challenges. Yet the relationship between finance and society has not recovered from the 2008 crisis and the scandals and austerity that followed. Recognising that financial markets operate subject to a social licence has the potential to galvanise market participants in tackling these challenges, strengthening social solidarity on which markets also depend, and to provide coordinates for navigating a way through the complexities ahead.
David gives us all a call to action, and we must answer it and give it the attention it deserves.
- Mark Carney
In what ways are market operators required or permitted to tackle humanity's key sustainability challenges? This international report for the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative and others answers the question and also provides a broader framework for deciding how to act.