We are all more and more aware of the consequences that our current economic model can have on the environment, on society and on our way of life. Several international frameworks – like the 2030 United Nations Agenda or Paris Agreement – recognized the need to promote a model of sustainable economic development.

The financial sector plays an important role in financing this model, as financial intermediaries have the capacity to raise capital through sustainable investments and loans, to integrate sustainability into their risk management processes and strategies, and to provide advice to clients and investors to promote the behavior change required by this profound transformation.

Sustainable finance, or the integration of environmental, social and governance factors into financial decisions, is in its infancy. Large companies, institutional investors and asset managers are starting to integrate ESG factors into their investment policies and strategies. Governments and central banks are working quickly to promote sustainable financial mobilization, better risk management and increased transparency. But individuals, retail investors and SMEs are still very far from the way forward.

As mentioned by the president of BBVA, Carlos Torres Vila during the opening session of the EduFin Summit “Financial education is essential to promote sustainable and inclusive growth” In fact, financial education can play, in our opinion, an important role in overcoming some of the many challenges that we face. we meet when integrating sustainability into our financial decisions.

The first is CONSCIOUSNESS:. A better knowledge of financial decision-makers in matters of sustainability is necessary. This includes, of course, the recognition of the Sustainable Development Goals and the existence of climate change, its effects and the risks associated with it, but it also refers to the impact of human activities on natural capital and biodiversity. , rising inequalities or what inclusive growth means.

The second is COMPREHENSION. Equally important is increasing knowledge about sustainable finance. Investors large and small need to understand the various investment strategies, the wide variety of sustainable finance products and how they work, the need for ESG risk integration and the relevance of the impact of their financial decisions.

And the third is ACTION. We need to translate this awareness and understanding into decision making. Financial education, if contextualized and proportionate at key learning moments, can foster the required behavior change.

Awareness, understanding and action are three key challenges that allow us to draw attention to the strong link between sustainable finance and financial education.

At BBVA, we work to improve the financial knowledge and skills of the company, including not only large investors, but also small savers, retail clients, entrepreneurs or non-profit organizations. In doing so, we believe we can collectively promote sustainable development.

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