Europe must become global hub for sustainable investment

Colleagues walking outside
18-03-26 10:01 | Our people | Responsible investment | Sustainability

Europe must become the global hub for sustainable investment – and Nordea is ready to help Europe bring sustainable finance into the mainstream. 

These are some of the conclusions from a high-level conference on sustainable financing in Brussels last week, initiated by the European Commission. The list of speakers included many top names such as the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker; the President of the French Republic, H.E. Emmanuel Macron; and the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Climate Action, Michael Bloomberg.

Nils Bolmstrand, CEO of Nordea Asset Management, was invited as a speaker for the conference’s first panel discussion, representing the business perspective as an asset management executive. Nordea is the largest asset manager in the Nordic countries and we are integrating ESG factors into our investment process. 

The conference kick-started the Commission’s Action Plan on sustainable finance (see fact box) for reaching the European Union’s climate goals as part of the Paris agreement in the coming 1.5 years (see fact box). Nordea intends to stay at the centre of these developments and keep our customers continuously informed. 

Crucial role to play

The financial sector has a crucial role to play in the transition towards a sustainable future by ensuring that capital is re-directed to sustainable solutions (see fact box).

“If we are to plug the EUR 180 billion investment gap, every part of our economy must pull its weight. And this starts with the financial sector,” said President Juncker in his opening speech.

“I believe the financial sector has a responsibility to help Europe prepare for the economy of tomorrow. To be part of the solution, not the problem. The good news is that Europe has a long history of leading the way. But others in the world are catching up. This is why I want Europe to be the global hub for sustainable investment,” he added.

Nils Bolmstrand EU panelNils Bolmstrand represented the business perspective during a debate on how fast the European Union can realistically deliver on the targets and also presented Nordea’s views. 

“We want to be a part of the solution. We want to work with this and we believe it is necessity for us, because the risks are there and will affect the values of the companies in which we invest. We want better disclosure to understand these risks and guidelines that allows the plenty floor of solutions that have already been developed today to continues to live. This cannot become a ‘tick the box’ exercise but must be something that truly drives Europe forward towards sustainable growth” he said.

“While climate change may not hit the headlines as much as the financial crisis, the consequences are irreversible”, said the President Macron as he summed up the conference.

You can view a web streaming of the conference here

Fact box

The European Union’s three goals for climate and energy for 2030:

•Minimum 40% cut in greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels

•At least a 27% share of renewables in final energy consumption

•At least 30%* energy savings compared with the business-as-usual scenario

* pending finalisation of co-decision procedure

Three main objectives of the European Commission’s Action Plan:

•Reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth

•Manage financial risks stemming from climate change, environmental degradation and social issues

•Foster transparency and long-termism in financial and economic activity

Source: European Commission Action Plan