In 2015, the international community negotiated and agreed a new set of post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which came into effect on 1st January 2016. to supercede the UN Millennium Development Goals which expire at the end of this year]. The SDGs are a vitally important framework governing human development and the environment over the coming decades. In December 2015, the world’s governments agreed a new climate agreement at COP21 in Paris a new, ambitious and universally binding climate change agreement within the parameters of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. In both processes – the ‘SDGs’ and the ‘UNFCCC’ – a key role for the private sector, and private sector finance in particular, is envisaged. Key questions include the role of the banks and institutional investors in fossil fuel divestment and global investment in green energy; the role of the private sector in human development, inclusive growth and the sustainable management of natural capital; and how to shift to a long-term, resilient and truly sustainable green economy. A further challenge is to ensure the complementarity of parallel efforts underway on the SDGs and the UNFCCC: while these are separate negotiations, a strong and positive outcome is required for both to succeed. The ISU is playing an active role in commissioning research and encouraging dialogue and consensus regarding supporting the private sector to play its part in fulfilling the SDGs and the outcomes of COP21 in Paris.