2021 ended with a sense of purpose and optimism given the pledged that had been made and the set was set for 2022 to push that further. Leading financial institutions committed US$130 trillion of capital to Net Zero, nearly 200 nations agreed a carbon markets deal, 100 countries agreed to end deforestation, 100 countries representing 70% of the global economy have now joined the global methane pledge and 40 agreed to phase out coal. It was not enough for scientists to believe 1.5C was in sight, but it was progress.

2022 has shaken that optimism resolve. War and migration, broken supply chains, damaging energy price rises, global food and general inflation, and rising geopolitical strife between great powers have all been features of just the first half year. We claim in this report that, “Never in history has there been more prosperity, more knowledge, more innovation, and less suffering than today. As if to match these, a series of systemic challenges have arisen, that if not well addressed, pose potentially unbounded risk to further progress and existential risks to human civilization.”

Despite these challenges, the last year has seen a rise in global liquid assets to c.US$450 trillion and nearly US$100 trillion of annual output. Leading financial institutions provided US$2.5 trillion in SDG aligned financing, up 20%, breaking previous records, of a total global SDG spending from all sources of US$3.6-4.7 trillion. The numbers are daunting ... global wealth has hit a record c.US$450 trillion but fixing the challenges we face in security and levelling up people to the SDG goals needs nearly half of that!

However, our recalculation estimates a funding need of up to US$176 trillion for the SDGs to 2030 up 15%-25%, and a shortfall of up to US$135 trillion, up 35%. Added to a security scenario that may require spending to 2030 of US$60 trillion.

Leaders cannot bridge such a gap with exhortations for more commitments. The total global security and sustainability funding requirement through 2030 adds up to nearly half of the total capital stock in the world today. And that capital of US$450 trillion is already committed to business as usual and to endeavors that make the investment returns required to pay pension plans, taxes, employees, and risk takers, it is not a discretionary spend for levelling up the developing world.

The basic challenge is that the SDGs are seen as a “cause”, a noble and worthy one, and not as a business case to fund in the time horizon and risk level that matter to owners of capital, 60% of whom are private individuals and the rest primarily governments.

Yet we can fund a mission to Mars. And that is an enormous potential positive, showing the appetite for taking big risks for big rewards., overcoming seemingly impossible issues, is intact in the human spirit.

This report shines light on where capital comes from, where it flows through and where it goes, and who has a say in the system called capitalism. It also illuminates the shortcomings of the key stakeholders and what it takes to transform this system.

It provides a perspective on the big question of which path to take, should we act quickly to preserve and mitigate in the face of ecosystem losses or should we breakthrough to grow even faster? And what are the elements of reconciling these paths.

The report is a call to action and provides an agenda and framework for doing so. With that in mind, Force for Good has selected six breakthrough areas to take a multi-stakeholder approach to addressing big issues for making a magnified impact on the SDGs.

We hope you will join us in being a force for good in any way that you can, and work towards a peaceful transition to a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for all.

Ketan Patel, Chairman, Force for Good

Chair of the Advisory Council, Capital as a Force for Good Initiative, Force for Good

  • Helen Alderson  |

  •   Edward Braham  |

  •   Chantal Line Carpentier  |

  •   Nitin Desai  |

  •   Garry Jacobs  |

  •   Anja Kaspersen  |

  •   Jonathan Miller  |

  •   Nicky Newton King

  •   Sir Alan Parker