simon zadek

Year of Green Finance – 2016

It is the Year of Green Finance, as my co-Director Nick Robins points out in a recent Huffington Post piece – The Year of Green Finance – a View from London. Nick was writing on the occasion of a high profile launch of the UNEP Inquiry report, The Financial System We Need, hosted by the Corporation of London, with many CEO’s and ministerial level folks from the UK Government in attendance.…

No Excuses: Leverage the Present

A rapid, smooth, and purposeful transition toward sustainable development is unlikely. Indeed, throughout human history, such major changes have more often been forced upon the world by circumstances, with leaders focusing on shorter-term concerns like political turmoil or economic stagnation until serious disruptions to their economies and societies arise. But this need not be the case.

My latest op-ed, “Harnessing Disruption for Sustainability“, syndicated through Project Syndicate, argues that policymakers can and must develop solutions that leverage immediate challenges to accelerate the shift toward a more sustainable, inclusive future, providing examples not surprisingly from the work of the UNEP Inquiry, summarized in the latest briefing, “Pathways to Scale“.…

Making the Unlikely Happen: Transforming Finance

The UNEP Inquiry will be in Davos again this year. We will co-host a high-level dinner with the French Government about aligning financial systems with sustainable development, talk to many folks, and participate in a number of of green finance events, leveraging the disruptive potential of being up the magic mountain.

D3 - CoverOn the occasion of Davos, we will be releasing our third progress report, “Pathways to Scale”, exploring the `how`of making changes to finance.…

Disrupting Davos

Davos is with us again. Thousands of people will scale the magic mountain and debate the world`s most gripping challenges, protected by an equal if not greater number of Swiss military and police.

My Davos this year is intended to advance the UNEP Inquiry into Design Options for a Sustainable Financial System, more on which in my next blog.

My most recent article, Disrupting Davos, published by the Huffington Post, explores the question of whether and if so how Davos can be a disruptive accelerator of progressive initiatives.…

A Festive Inquiry @ 320 Days

As some of us move to year end, and all of us hopefully get a break or at least temporary slow down in the intensive work flow, I wanted to highlight a few of the Inquiry`s outputs that punctuate what for us has been an extraordinary journey to date.


We began our work on the 26th January 2014 on the tailwinds of the World Economic Forum in Davos, more or less 330 days ago, or 230 official work days (if only!).…

NEW REPORT: Inquiry – Insights from Practice

Today, on the occasion of the IMF/WB Annual Meetings in Washington DC, the UNEP Inquiry into Design Options for a Sustainable Financial System launches its second briefing, “Aligning the Financial System with Sustainable Development – Insights from Practice“. The briefing describes what we have found to date in our ground-level engagement in diverse country contexts from Bangladesh to Brazil, China, South Africa, the US and Europe, as well as setting out our initial scenarios work framing our analysis of what it takes to create a sustainable financial system.…

Summary of UN Climate Summit Op-eds and Blogs

Just in case you missed them, I published a number of op-eds and blogs before and after the UN Climate Summit to highlight the links through to the Inquiry`s agenda for a number of different constituencies.

First up was the 20th August China Daily article pre-UN Climate Summit.

Then was my and Nick Robins`s 11th September Guardian article on self interest and climate action.…

Selfishness for All?

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has just hosted a special UN Climate Summit in New York intended to spur action on climate change. Ban’s message was simple: Beyond the long-term shared benefits of such action, countries and businesses would benefit in the short term. Selfishness as a strategy to address the climate challenge does, however, have its limits. Ultimately, there is no substitute for social conscience and concerted action.…

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