The keynote speech by Valdis Dombrovskis, a Vice-President of the European Commission, highlighted that with assets of more than €100 trillion, the financial sector has the greatest potential for green investments. The push for green technologies and shifts in consumer and green investment preferences are leading to policy change at EU level. Separately, Dr. Werner Hoyer, President, European Investment Bank (EIB) stressed the bank’s latest commitment to phase out lending for all fossil fuel projects due to climate change concerns.
The events created a platform for financial sector leaders to demonstrate shifts to a sustainable global economy. Speakers included HE Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development and Stephen Nolan, Managing Director of the International Network of Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S).
HE Carole Dieschbourg, Luxembourg Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development, brought home the point that “This is a man-made crisis. We can be the actors of change and turn this crisis into an opportunity.”
Bruno Pozzi, Director of the UN Environment Programme Europe Office, set the stage for the discussion by underlining that the “financial sector must help find an answer to the greatest problem of our time”.
Nicolas Mackel, CEO of Luxembourg for Finance said: “Against the backdrop of ongoing public sector initiatives, the financial industry has an important role to play in the mainstreaming of sustainable finance. Cooperation across financial centres is a vital aspect towards realising this ambition. As existential for mankind, the focus is on addressing the issues rather than increasing market share.”
The public and private sector have been working together in a dedicated Climate Finance Task Force since 2015, implementing a coherent and fully integrated Climate Finance Strategy with the dual objective of contributing to the international fight against climate change and cementing Luxembourg’s role as an international centre for climate finance.