BBVA sustainability boss appointed to chair UN committee

Antoni Ballabriga has been appointed as co-chair of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative

The United Nation’s Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative has announced BBVA’s head of responsible business is to take up the position of co-chairperson of its global steering committee.

The prestigious position will see Antoni Ballabriga playing a key role in developing guidelines for how financial services businesses should use and interpret the European Union’s sustainable finance taxonomy.

Ballabriga has been a member of the UNEP FI steering committee since January 2018 and a key figure in promoting the credentials of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Banking.

“Toni’s involvement with and enthusiasm for UNEP FI’s Principles for Responsible Banking has been a big part of the success of the new banking framework, and we are looking to working with him even more closely,” said Eric Usher, head of UNEP FI.

Taking up the new appointment will mean Ballabriga will work alongside Jacki Johnson, the climate and sustainability advisor for Insurance Australia Group, who has been a co-chair of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative for several years.

Ballabriga recognised the responsibility of the appointment in his statement confirming the appointment.

He said: “This appointment is truly an honour and a tremendous responsibility at a time like the present, when the stakes are so high for everyone in this journey to turning the financial sector, and especially its institutions, into authentically sustainable organisations.

“There is no other way, and new generations in particular are telling us loud and clear. Today more than ever we need the strength of the UNEP FI global partnership to promote sustainable finance at the scale our world needs.”