John Lipsky was Acting Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2011, and Deputy Managing Director of the IMF from 2006-2011. His tenure at the IMF coincided with the onset of the greatest economic and financial challenges faced yet by the rapidly globalizing world, and during this time Lipsky helped to lead the IMF’s efforts to halt the global downturn, reestablish economic and financial stability, and restart growth through international policy cooperation in the face of historic market upheavals and systemic disruption. Dr. Lipsky offers unique insight into how economic policy is being negotiated and implemented today, reflecting the challenges and global realities of shifting relative power in both economic and political arenas. Lipsky currently serves as a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Institute of Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Lipsky’s current professional activities also include serving as a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Holdings plc., as Co-Chair of the Aspen Institute’s Program on the World Economy, as a Director at Large of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), as a Trustee of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR), and as Member of the Board of the Center for Global Development, and is the Honorary Chairman of the Hopkins–Nanjing Council for the Hopkins–Nanjing Center. He is a member of the Advisory Council for the The UNEP Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, which launched in January 2014 and will conclude at the end of 2015. Dr. Lipsky holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Stanford University.
Citizens in advanced and developing countries alike increasingly are becoming convinced that environmental threats are real. This December, world leaders will gather in Paris to discuss possible action at the UN Conference on Climate Change. There is little doubt that effective measures will be costly, at a time when most government budgets already are strained. As a result, private sector funding — most likely in innovative forms — will be necessary if desired environmental improvements are to be accomplished, At the same time, post-Crisis financial sector reforms remain incomplete. Thus, the timing is right to think of how the financial system can be made compatible with attaining environmental goals. For example, the People’s Bank of China has worked with the United Nation’s Inquiry on the Design of a Sustainable Financial System to help China’s Green Finance Task Force produce a set of fourteen proposals for greening China’s financial system. This process is currently being repeated in countries around the world, but success will require much more work — and imagination — in the next several years.