CFOs Respond to the Call for Greater Private Sector Investment in Climate Action at COP28

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Dec. 05, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, during the SDG Investment Forum at COP28, the UN Global Compact CFO Coalition for the SDGs demonstrated the importance of corporate investments and financing for climate action, effectively heeding increasingly louder calls for greater private sector investment. Corporations are expected to be the largest direct investors in climate change mitigation, accounting for roughly one-third of the total investment needed between now and 2050, which some estimate could amount to US$ 275 trillion.

The SDG Investment Forum, organised in partnership with the United Nations Sustainable Stock Exchange (UN SSE), the Dubai Financial Market (DFM) and the Global Investors for Sustainable Development (GISD) Alliance brought together CFOs, sustainability experts and investors to exchange views on how corporate investments and finance can best contribute to tackling the climate crisis.

A new report released by the CFO Coalition for the SDGs, Corporate Investments to Achieve Climate Ambitions, highlights the outsized role of the private sector - and corporations in particular – in the US$9 trillion a year in capital spending needed until 2050 to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Corporations are the main direct investors in the infrastructure and technology that will underpin low-carbon growth in many sectors of the economy, including power, industrials, agriculture, buildings and mobility.

Speaking during the event, Sanda Ojiambo, CEO and Executive Direct of the UN Global Compact said: 

“Climate change is impacting virtually every industry and region of the world. Private climate financing must play a pivotal role as emerging markets and developing economies seek to curb greenhouse gas emissions and contain climate change while coping with its effects. For this to happen we must ensure companies – in the UN Global Compact and beyond – make the necessary investments and that investors and governments create necessary and appropriate incentives.”

In response to the growing urgency for collective action to combat climate change, the CFO Coalition for the SDGs aims to create a $10 trillion market for SDG-directed finance by 2030. The 70 CFOs who are part of the CFO Leadership Group have already committed to collectively invest more than $500 billion by 2025 in support of the SDGs. 

An Ernst & Young survey found that 69% of companies who undertake climate-smart investment strategies have been positively surprised by the financial value of climate investments with corporate climate leaders 2.4 times more likely to experience significantly higher returns on climate investments than expected.

The CFO Coalition for the SDGs has developed guidance and resources to support governments in building a bridge between climate ambition and SDG investment and finance, two of the five areas of the Forward Faster initiative. The Forward Faster initiative aims to mobilize private sector action where it can collectively make the biggest, fastest impact by 2030, focusing on gender equality, climate action, living wage, water resilience and finance and investments.

Notes to Editors

About the UN Global Compact

As a special initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN Global Compact is a call to companies worldwide to align their operations and strategies with Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Our ambition is to accelerate and scale the global collective impact of business by upholding the Ten Principles and delivering the Sustainable Development Goals through accountable companies and ecosystems that enable change. With more than 18,000 companies and 3,800 non-business signatories based in over 101 countries, and 62 Local Networks, the UN Global Compact is the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative — one Global Compact uniting business for a better world.

About the CFO Coalition for the SDGs

The CFO Coalition for the SDGs is a platform where global CFOs and other corporate officers can collaborate with peers, investors, financial institutions and UN agencies to develop principles, frameworks and recommendations to integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in corporate finance and create a market for mainstream SDG investments. For more information please visit


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