01-11-2021 07:23

Nordea at COP26: “Banks have vital role in green transition”

This week, world leaders, governments, negotiators, businesses and non-governmental organisations are gathered at COP26 in Glasgow to reach agreements on how to constrain the accelerating climate change. Nordea’s top management and climate experts are also participating and will take part in the discussions on the financial sector’s role and responsibility towards a low-carbon economy.

It’s day one of COP26 and Nordea’s Anders Langworth, Head of Group Sustainability, Veronica Palmgren, Head of ESG Analysis, and Stefan Henningsson, Senior Climate Specialist, are on site and looking forward to many hours of discussion on how to drive the global economy towards net-zero emissions. While Anders Langworth and Stefan Henningsson have taken part in previous COPs, it is the first time for Veronica Palmgren. They all share the sense of urgency that this year’s conference carries.

Anders Langworth: “COP26 is a great opportunity for knowledge sharing, and as the leading bank in the Nordics, I believe Nordea brings value to the discussion with our active role in several international initiatives and alliances as well as how we support and enable our customers to make sustainable choices.

"That being said, there are plenty of challenges needing to be solved and I look forward to discussing these further.”

Stefan Henningsson: “More than 130 countries have now pledged a target of reducing emissions to net zero by 2050. This is good. However, while net zero is a critical long-term goal, emission cuts must be achieved within the next 5 to 10 years. Therefore, much focus at this year’s COP will be on getting more intermediate target announcements."

"Public finance is another big issue where climate vulnerable developing countries will put pressure on developed countries to deliver at least 100bnUSD/year in support as pledged in the global agreement.” 

Sustainability is about more than the climate

Veronica Palmgren: “Sustainability is complex. It includes climate issues but also social issues, governance, biodiversity issues and more. These issues tend to create dilemmas where a solution to one problem impacts another negatively."

"Regulation and policy setting are rapidly being developed, and it is important that the definitions, for instance of what is to be considered green, take several aspects into consideration but at the same time remain relevant and practical.”

Banks are drivers

Anders Langworth: “The world needs to build a new low-carbon economy, and financial institutions have a vital role in this transition. Financial institutions can reach and impact decisions across the world through their financing and investments. However, all parts of society need to work together. I’m proud that Nordea plays an active role and will be represented in several panels this year, by our CEO, senior leaders and specialists here in Glasgow, in Helsinki and through virtual events connected to COP26.”

Read more about sustainability at Nordea

Read also Challenges & opportunities of ESG analysis - with Nordea’s Veronica Palmgren

What is COP26?

The 2021 United Nations annual climate change conference, COP26, is taking place from 31 October to 12 November 2021 in Glasgow with the United Kingdom as host. COP stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’ and it’s the 26th UN organised climate change conference. In the run up to COP26 the UK is working with every nation to discuss the COP26 goals and reach agreements on how to tackle climate change. World leaders, negotiators, government representatives, businesses and NGOs will meet, and Nordea is participating in several panel discussions during the 12 days.


Nordea at COP26: selection of panels




Title/Broadcast link


Nov 3

9:00 / 10:00 / 11:00

Boosting sustainable financing, Nordic perspective

- Veronica Palmgren, Head of ESG Analysis, Nordea

- Marie Aglert, EKN, the Swedish Export Credit Agency,

- Johan Henningsson, Head of Sustainability, SEK, the Swedish Export Credit Corporation,

Nov 3

11:30 / 12:30/ 13:30

The Pathway towards a Global Standard for Sustainability Reporting

- Anders Langworth, Head of Sustainability, Nordea

- Erik Thedéen, Director General, FI, Swedish FSA, and Chair of the IOSCO Sustainable Task Force

Nov 4

14:30 / 15:30 / 16:30

Climate action in banking: sharing our progress, learnings and challenges.

- Frank Vang-Jensen, CEO, Nordea

- Carlos Torres Vila, Chairman of the Board of Directors, BBVA

- Bill Winters, CEO, Standard Chartered

- Andrew Bester, Member of the Management Board Banking and Head of Wholesale Banking, ING.

Nov 5

14:15 / 15:15 / 16:15

Enabling Exponential Climate Policy

- Stefan Henningsson, Senior Climate Specialists, Nordea

- Dr. Arunabha Ghosh, Chief Executive Officer at Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW)

- Tomer Shalit, Founder & CPO, ClimateView

- Linda Burenius, Head of Development, Global Challenge Foundation

- Mattias Frumerie, Head of Delegation to UNFCCC at Swedish Ministry of Environment

- Johan Falk, CEO, Exponential Roadmap Initiative

Nov 11

14:00 / 15:00 / 16:00

The future of finance - sustainable impact

- Anders Langworth, Head of Sustainability, Nordea

- Nina Arkilahti, Head of Business Banking and Group Leadership Team, Nordea

- Hanna Kaskela, Director of Responsible Investments, Varma

- Arjen Berends, CFO, Wärtsilä

- Petri Vuorio, Director EU/SME/Climate Issues, Confederation of Finnish Industries