11 Sep 2018
EUR 100 million
Financial institutions and SMEs
"The Nordic region can lead if we want it to", said Tine Sundtoft, former Norwegian Minister of Climate and the Environment. Ms Sundtoft is proposing a Nordic climate summit with key players, such as NIB, to define and develop greener financial markets in the Nordic countries.
“I am pleased that the Nordic Investment Bank is recognized and mentioned as a key financial institution in this context, as we have a long track-record of providing environmental financing. If NIB is invited, we are of course ready to contribute with our insights and expertise”, commented NIB’s Hilde Kjelsberg, Vice-President, Head of Credit and Analysis, after a debate on reaching the Paris Agreement at Arendalsuka 2018, Norway’s largest political gathering.
“We are at the disposal of our Nordic and Baltic member countries.”
The debate opened with Mr Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment Programme and Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, giving an overview of the current global situation, pointing to several success stories that give hope for a green transition. Mr Solheim reminded that the Nordic region is a world leader in renewable energy and can share its expertise with the rest of the world.
“China is turning around climate issues like no other nation has done, and they do it because it's profitable.”
Ms Sundtoft presented the key recommendations from her recent report to the Nordic Council of Ministers, stating that the Nordic countries together should make a strong contribution to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Agenda 2030, both in the Nordic region and at the global level.
“It is extremely important that we strive to create a common direction and principles that make it possible for individual countries to move towards climate neutrality, knowing that they do not pay the price of fighting the fight alone”, said Ms Sundtoft, who is County Chief Executive of the newly agreed Agder County Municipality.
Mr Frederic Hauge, Head of the Norwegian environmental foundation Bellona, agreed. “It is my big dream that the Nordic region will lead the way in the development of climate-neutral solutions.”
Ms Kjelsberg added: “There is a lot of talk and many reports on climate change, but less concrete Nordic action, also from politicians. It is therefore important that Tine Sundtoft’s report "The Nordic Countries in the Green Transition - More Than Just Neighbours" results in actual measures at Nordic level.”
“In the financial sector, green financing is becoming mainstream. There is increasing demand from investors for financiers to ensure that financing is provided only to sustainable projects. One good example of this is the green bond market, which has grown very much in recent years”, Kjelsberg commented on the debate.
NIB’s Vice-President said that for start-ups and well-established companies, with good and low-risk projects, there are several financing schemes available.
“What is lacking is financing for companies in the phases between. There are many financing alternatives available for good projects, but early growth companies may lack the competence and resources to make projects bankable. Also, traditional banks may not be willing to provide additional resources to support project preparations in this stage. Public grants and financing schemes are widely available, but challenging for smaller companies to get an overview of”, commented Kjelsberg.
“The sustainability aspect should be taken into account early in the process when choices are made about technology and design.”
You can watch the full debate from Arendalsuka 2018 here.