This month, we hosted our 6th Investment Case Symposium in Luxembourg and online. GLF—Luxembourg Finance for Nature 2023 brought together over 4,500 participants from 156 countries to answer the crucial question: what comes next for sustainable finance?

With so many inspiring speakers, we’ve brought together a selection of some of the most memorable quotes that came out of the event.

Only by listening to all voices can we hope for change

Joëlle Welfring, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Luxembourg. Luc Deflorenne/GLF, Flickr

“Let’s seize the day to connect and share our experiences to learn from each other. Let’s start by listening to the needs and challenges of the most vulnerable. Let’s work on the barriers to mobilizing sustainable private-sector financing. Let’s make sure we don’t neglect gender equality, women’s empowerment, youth participation and respect for Indigenous Peoples and human rights in our approaches. Let’s make sure that finance stakeholders can increase their engagements in finance for nature and sustainable land use and biodiversity. Finally, let’s help bridge the finance gap for nature-based solutions.” – Joëlle Welfring, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, Luxembourg

“Indigenous Peoples receive less than 1 percent of climate finance, even though many studies have demonstrated that the most effective way to protect biodiversity is by securing Indigenous lands. Smallholder farmers in developing countries receive only 1.7 percent of climate finance, yet they are the ones who feed the world – 80 percent of Latin America’s food comes from them.” – Aldo Soto, managing director and co-founder, Amazonia Impact Ventures

“Protecting and upholding the rights of Indigenous Peoples has direct benefits and effects on the ecosystem. This is what finance for nature looks like.” – Galina Angarova, executive director, Cultural Survival

​“The forestry value chain came onto our radar because we can help increase the resilience of smallholders by diversifying agriculture into forestry, and agroforestry has potential for climate change mitigation.” – Christina Ehlert, head of programmes, agriculture and forestry value chains, ADA Microfinance

“It is not only a question of investing in nature, but also of ensuring inclusive finance and innovative methods.” – Eliane Ubalijoro, incoming CEO, CIFOR-ICRAF

The time for lip service is over

GLF–Luxembourg Finance for Nature 2023. GLF, Flickr

“Our planet and ecosystems are stressed and have reached a tipping point due to our own activity. Climate change and biodiversity loss pose an existential threat to humanity. We must attend to this looming catastrophe with extreme urgency and resolve. Greenwashing, green-wishing and other fig leaves will not solve the problem. We must be bold.” – Vivienne Yeda, director general, East African Development Bank

“What we need is action, and as we’ve heard before, we need to dream big. I think we all have a collective responsibility to protect our planet as well as its biodiversity while also ensuring social justice and economic development for all. I believe that sustainable finance is really a key tool to build low-carbon sustainable and resilient economies.” – Yuriko Backes, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg

Identifying areas of change

GLF–Luxembourg Finance for Nature 2023 united 4,500 in-person and online participants from 162 countries. Luc Deflorenne/GLF, Flickr

“We are not doing sustainable finance; we are doing finance for sustainability. We have to change this.” – Pierre Rousseau, independent consultant

“The world currently spends roughly USD 1.8 trillion a year on subsidies for activities that are considered to be harmful to nature – that’s equivalent to two percent of the global domestic product. We can no longer finance the destruction of nature without ultimately compromising our own business model.” – Diego Creimer, Director of Finance and Biodiversity, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society–Quebec

“Sustainable finance standards are going in the right direction, but still too slowly, focused on the short term and geared towards maximizing present profit at the expense of the future.” – Robert Nasi, chief executive officer (CEO) a.i. director general, CIFOR-ICRAF

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