Sustainable Finance

Wolkenkratzer, in dessen Glasfassade sich ein grüner Wald spiegelt

Sustainable finance describes the consideration of sustainability aspects by private and public actors in their decisions. Sustainable finance thus concerns budgetary, financial, industrial and economic policy as well as sustainability, nature conservation and climate policy - a cross-cutting topic.

The need to respond to climate change and slow down the extinction of species requires comprehensive restructuring towards greenhouse gas neutrality and a sustainable economy. Sustainable Finance has a key role to play in the huge task of financing this socio-ecological transformation.

Economic structures and related production and consumption patterns will change fundamentally in the context of the socio-ecological transformation. Finance has a central leverage function as a provider of capital in the transformation of the real economy, as it can, for example, provide companies with financial capital more easily and more cheaply. In order to fulfill this function, there is a need for science-oriented, common standards, corresponding sustainability definitions and transparency. Based on these needs, Germanwatch works in the field of sustainable finance on German, European and international sustainable finance strategies and accompanies these political and economic processes as a civil society environmental and development organisation.

Germanwatch's activities in the context of Sustainable Finance

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Aktuelles zum Thema "Sustainable Finance"

A primer

The emerging polycrisis is challenging governments and institutions around the world. Especially countries in the Global South lack the financial capacity to address the current challenges and simultaneously prepare their nations for the impacts of climate change. The existing international financial architecture has so far been unable to provide the necessary financial resources.There are three major reform proposals that address different institutions within the international financial architecture. This primer introduces the proposals presented and provides an overview of the main institutions and actors involved in the process in Germany.

NGOs warn against reduction in ambition
Together with the Alliance for Corporate Transparency and a number of other NGOs and think tanks, Germanwatch has commented on the proposals of the European Financial Reporting Advisory Group (EFRAG) in a press release. Germanwatch welcomes the adoption of the EU Sustainability Reporting Standards (ESRS), which EFRAG submitted to the European Commission this week. Although the ambition of the standards remains limited in some areas, they represent a significant improvement for companies and users of sustainability information and address the biggest issues in the quality and reliability of corporate reporting. Please find the press release below:

A ‘race to the top’ or global crawl? Despite global climate negotiations at COP27 and the G20 inching far too slowly towards the financial transformations we need to tackle climate change, country-level progress is being made. A common framework would help track that progress.


One of the three main goals of the Paris Agreement is to ‘make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development’, as stated in Article 2.1c. This long-term goal recognises that, complementary to an increase in finance that supports climate action, there needs to be redirection of finance, both public and private, that locks countries into a future of low emissions and higher resilience. Given that Article 2.1c has yet to be fully operationalised, this case study examines the progress towards implementing it in Germany. It is a first attempt to provide a comprehensive analysis framework for the implementation of Article 2.1c.

Analysis on how Germany and Korea can use its export and development finance to contribute more strongly to keeping 1.5°C within reach

At the forthcoming G7 Ministerials this week and next, Germany should push for stronger joint efforts to exit international fossil fuel financing. Considering the latest IPCC findings and the urgent need to stop investment in coal, oil and gas, the financial activities of public finance institutions (PFIs) play an important role to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. This paper analyses the alignment of German and Korean PFIs’ climate and sector strategies with the Paris Agreement and makes recommendations on how their strategies can align with a 1.5°C goal.

The leading industrialised countries have a particular responsibility to address the climate crisis – but they failed to meet their former commitments. The German G7 presidency now offers the opportunity to take important steps towards a new paradigm for climate finance. Against that backdrop, this policy brief formulates five key asks to the G7 governments.