United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres asked the banking industry to invest in climate action and to disinvest from fossil fuels and pollution in general.
He made the appeal as he was launching the UN Principles for Responsible Banking on Sunday, Xinhua news agency reported.
"Climate action has multiple benefits, including job creation, reduced air pollution, improved public health, and greater security for nations and (economies)," said Guterres.
Given rapidly falling technology costs, investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency makes sense from every angle, he said. "Place your bets on the green economy, not the grey economy, because the grey economy will have no future."
"To survive as a society, we will need to transform how we grow food, how we use land, how we fuel our transport and how we power our economies," he said.
Guterres asked the banking industry to align business goals with the Sustainable Development Goals.
With global wealth exceeding $300 trillion, the 2-3 trillion-dollar gap needed for the Sustainable Development Goals financing seems minuscule, he said.
He asked the banks to support gender equality by making more loans available for women-owned businesses. It is also important to support small and medium enterprises, many of which are women-owned, because they are the lifeblood of the economy, he said.