From the left: Mr André Küüsvek, President and CEO of the Nordic Investment Bank and Ms Annika Saarikko, Co-Chair of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action and Finland’s Finance Minister, in a briefing event at the COP26 in Glasgow. The briefing was moderated by Mr Jukka Ahonen, Head of Communications at NIB, in the Nordic Pavilion.
4 Nov 2021
NIB makes 30-by-30 pledge at COP26 in Glasgow
“To make a difference in financing the green transition, NIB recognises it needs to change and become more ambitious. We have therefore started a discussion with our Nordic and Baltic owner countries on a revised strategy for NIB. I do think that to make an impact, we need to take slightly more risk and certain risks slightly differently,” says André Küüsvek, President and CEO of the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB).
As part of upping the ambitions, NIB is updating its Sustainability Policy and currently in the process of finalising a public consultation round. NIB will launch its updated Sustainability Policy at another COP26 to be arranged on the 11 November. For more on this, please find the invitation here.
“We are starting to implement the updated Sustainability Policy and we are very clearly moving away from fossil fuels,” says Küüsvek.
“I would voice out a 30-by-30 ambition for NIB, which is that between now and end-2030, NIB aims to support projects that have a specific and positive environmental impact in the amount of at least 30 billion euros, as the total project size that we are supporting,” Küüsvek says.
He made the pledge at a speaking event in Glasgow at the Nordic Pavilion during the Finance Day of the COP26 climate talks on 3 November. NIB is an international financial institution (IFI) owned by the Nordic and Baltic countries. The mission of the Bank is to finance projects that improve productivity and benefit the environment of the region. IFIs typically finance part of projects, and therefore mobilise funding from other sources. NIB finances up to 50% of the total costs of its loan projects.
“Based on the first 24 hours here at the COP26, I find a clear sense of urgency that we need to move from words to actions. I also feel there is a very strong private sector buy-in. Private sector corporations and banks really understand they themselves will need to take care of the climate change”, says Küüsvek.
Together with him on the stage was Co-Chair of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, Annika Saarikko, and Finland’s Finance Minister.
The Coalition was launched in Washington DC in April 2019 on Finland’s initiative. It has 65 member countries, and growing, each committed to a set of principles known as the Helsinki Principles. The objective is to bring considerations of climate change into decision-making about economic and financial policies. The Coalition is currently chaired by the Finance Ministers of Indonesia and Finland with a secretariat managed by the World Bank and the IMF. NIB joined the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action as an institutional partner in June.
Finance Ministers for Climate Action
What did you discuss in the COP26-meeting of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action?
“Climate action is so important and the task so huge that we need real commitment to tend to the goals of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. The main agenda is to discuss how we can have better commitments and how we can find qualified partners to implement what we want to do,” says Annika Saarikko, who is also Governor of the Nordic Investment Bank.
Institutional partners provide support to different Coalition workstreams, while they also benefit from the cooperation and joint activities. Current partners include IFIs such as the EIB, IMF and the EBRD.
“It is not yet ready what will be the coalition’s role when it comes to climate change and finance. We are now looking for that right role and we have found some paths, but I think our role should be even bigger,” Saarikko says.
Ms Saarikko says the finance minister coalition gathering at a COP meeting was “historical”.
“There has been ministers for the environment, prime ministers, and presidents, but now all realise that finance and climate change must go hand in hand,” Saarikko says.
Why is it important that finance ministers get involved in the climate talks?
“We are not participating directly in the negotiations, at least not yet. But we all know that climate change cannot be solved without the use of economic policy and financial tools. What will be part of finance ministers’ role is carbon pricing, where we need movement. We need to understand the risk of climate change to our economies, public finance, and the risks. When it comes to the finance sector, risks are enormous,” Saarikko says.
Mr Küüsvek agrees and says the price tag is also very big, adding that it is crucial to make sure that the economics will work out in the end.
“If they don’t then we will fail,” says Küüsvek.
“The finance ministers hold the key to draft economic policies and to create fair operating environments. Competition is global and we need to make sure we don’t create uneven playing fields,” says Küüsvek.