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Good morning, it's Kasmira, and today we're mulling over growth prospects for the global economy this year after the UN's trade body upped its forecast but sounded the alarm on growing inequality and debt.

In the Himalayas, climate change and aggressive infrastructure projects to harness the region's water resources are creating an unfolding crisis. And in the EU, efforts to finalise the bloc's sustainable finance rules are causing a headache as countries are wrangle over what counts as "green".

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Kasmira Jefford


Sustainable business & finance news

Photo article

UNCTAD said that despite a stronger recovery predicted this year, problems of inequality, indebtedness and insufficient investment threaten hopes for a more resilient future. Poor countries already struggling before the pandemic, like Haiti pictured, have been hit the hardest. (Keystone/EPA/Jean Marc Herve Abelard)

🕳️ 💰 Covid’s 10 trillion-dollar economic hole. There was good news on one side last week as UN economists raised their 2021 global growth forecasts to 4.7 per cent. However this is still $10 trillion short of what it would have been without the pandemic. Meanwhile untackled problems of inequality, indebtedness threaten to derail hopes of a sustainable recovery.

Geneva Solutions (EN)

⛰️ ⚠️ Crisis in the Himalayas. A potent mix of climate change, fraught geopolitics, and unsustainable infrastructure developments, including frenetic road and dam-building projects, is amplifying dangers for the eight countries in the Himalayan region. As temperatures rise and the need to fuel a growing population grows, competition for shared resources like water is only set to intensify.

Financial Times (EN)

📗 EU sustainable finance advisers say green means green. Economic activities should be labelled as green investments only if they truly contribute to science-based goals to fight climate change, European Union advisers have said, as countries in the bloc continue to battle over what counts as sustainable investment, and whether to weaken planned finance rules.

Reuters (EN)

Here's what else is happening

Image of the day

Photo article

A girl fills a vessel with water at a slum area in Hyderabad, India, March 20, 2021. (Keystone/AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Water under stress. Leaving billions of people to struggle without clean drinking water or the basic tools to wash their hands is a "moral failure," especially in a world with such high levels of technical innovation, the UN general assembly president said last week at a high-level meeting on water, held ahead of World Water Day (today). Three billion worldwide still lack basic handwashing facilities, even in the midst of Covid-19 - a fact Volkan Bozkir said represents a “stark example of global inequality” that requires action.

UN News (EN)

Next on the agenda

📍 22 March | Exploring the non-market value of water to society. The Geneva Water Hub will be participating in this panel discussion to mark World Water Day 2021 and organised by water specialist news site Ooska News.

Ooska News (EN)

📍 23-25 March | Aid-for-Trade Stocktaking Event. This two-day event organised by the World Trade Organization will survey the trade impacts of the pandemic and make the case for the mobilisation of aid-for-trade financing to support the recovery.


📍 25 March | Sustainability and the Crisis of Value: conversations between Bhutan and Switzerland. Part of Sustainability Week Switzerland, this panel will discuss how both the climate crisis and the pandemic have challenged sustainable development as we know it. Geneva Solutions will be taking part - come join!

Sustainability Week (EN)

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Have a good day!

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