The GISD Strategy Group met in London on 21-22 June to draw a road map for the next phase of GISD’s work. In addition to hosting the meeting at the Standard Chartered headquarters, GISD Co-Chair Mr. José Viñals (Group Chairman, Standard Chartered) participated in the first day. Mr. Navid Hanif (Assistant Secretary-General designate for Economic Development, UN DESA) moderated.
The meeting convened at a critical time amidst multiple global crises, including continuing disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, unabating inflation and monetary tightening, and the war in Ukraine. The message was clear that while the work of the GISD Alliance is more critical now than ever before, the Alliance must also adapt to these new realities. Strategy Group members renewed their commitment to ‘walk the talk’ by learning from each other on ways to adopt the solutions and recommendations produced by the GISD Alliance in their own organizations.
At a special session of the meeting, guests Lord Nick Stern (IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government, London School of Economics) and Mr. Amar Bhattacharya (Senior Fellow, Brookings) presented to Strategy Group members on COP 27 and the private sector’s role. A key message was the need to unite the environment and development agendas by removing the supposed contradiction between the two, the idea that growth and development can only come at the expense of the environment. The session reinforced that GISD should keep its focus on systemic changes, while identifying specific actions to increase mobilization at the country level. These include stronger engagement between countries, IFIs and the private sector, strengthened project preparation, risk mitigation (macroeconomic risks, sector and policy induced risks, and technology risks), credit enhancement, and development of country platforms.
Before the close of the meeting, members agreed that innovation is required to overcome barriers to investing in the SDGs. Participants identified blended finance (through the Sustainable Infrastructure Investment Platform) and MDB reforms (through the MDB Taskforce) as promising opportunities and key focus areas for GISD moving forwards. Finally, members committed to continuing engagement with the wider private sector as well as the public sector to ensure systemic impact.