Finance ministers told to create biodiversity finance policies

Investment initiative invites ministers to COP15 roundtable to discuss aligning financial flows

Three financial institutions have written to finance ministers around the world asking them to support an ambitious biodiversity framework and create a policy environment that unlocks investment in nature.

The CEOs of Aviva, Domini Impact Investments and Storebrand Asset Management sent the letter on behalf of the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation and the connected Finance for Biodiversity Pledge, which has 103 signatories from 19 countries and represents €14trn in assets.

Ahead of COP15 in Canada in December, members of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action are being asked to take urgent action to align financial flows with the goals and targets of the Global Biodiversity Framework.

COP15 discussions

“Systemic solutions must be implemented for global challenges of this magnitude,” said Domini Impact Investments CEO and ESG Clarity US Committee member Carole Laible said.

“On behalf of Finance for Biodiversity Pledge members, we are encouraging Finance Ministers to create the enabling policy environment needed to address the urgent biodiversity crisis, which can help unlock public and private capital at scale.

The letter stated: “It should be about both financing green and greening finance, meaning that positive financial flows are increased and financial flows that harm biodiversity are reduced.”

Laible and the other signatories to the letter invited finance ministers to a roundtable event at COP15 with CEOs from global financial institutions to discuss specific steps towards aligning financial flows at the national level.

Finance institution members of the Finance for Biodiversity Foundation will now begin individual and collaborative engagements with some of the ministers from Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action in the run-up to COP15.

Examples of concrete steps ministers are being encouraged to take include:

  • setting disclosure regulations;
  • requiring transformation pathways;
  • integrating nature into regulatory frameworks;
  • supporting central banks and financial supervisors;
  • creating economic incentives for businesses and the finance sector to incorporate nature into their decision making.

Alarm systems

Storebrand Asset Management CEO, Jan-Erik Saugestad, emphasised the urgency with which action is needed: “All nature’s alarm systems are flashing warnings of an imminent catastrophe: a permanent loss of the biodiversity and ecosystem services that support human life and our economies.

“The economic transformation needed to decisively change our course cannot be left to the voluntary actions of few private actors alone. We need all hands on deck, at this critical stage. That’s why we are now calling on the ministers of finance to support the successful implementation of the Global Biodiversity Framework, and to take immediate steps to integrate nature-related risks and opportunities into decision-making at national level.”

Seeking hope

Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc said: “Financial institutions will be central to preventing and reversing the loss of our planet’s precious biodiversity. To make sure this happens, the world’s finance ministers need to send the clearest of signals.

“We’re calling on them to seize the opportunity before and during COP15 to make sure the Global Biodiversity Framework sets the explicit, ambitious standards needed to give hope for the future of earth’s ecosystems.”

In a further call to action this week, TheCityUK and PwC called for leaders to increase climate disclosure requirements, issue clearer guidance and policies and increase incentives to decarbonise.