Finance invited to COP15

The UN Conference on Biological Diversity has been in full swing for over a week in Montreal, and COP15 isn’t just about environmentalists, civil servants, biologists or activists from around the world. Today it is the turn of players from the financial world to discuss the involvement of the global biodiversity framework.

What are financiers doing at a conference whose ultimate goal is to slow the rampant development of our natural resources in order to protect fragile biodiversity that has suffered the double whammy of blind growth and global warming for several decades?

The answer is simple: 21st century capitalisme century can no longer consider the pursuit of profit as its only dominant factor. This economic system must also consider its impact on the environment and stakeholders.

Although the concept of responsible investing developed in the 1980s and 1990s, those seeking to respect environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors have now taken over.

Today, all mainstream investors try to respect ESG criteria as much as possible in the selection of their investments, because this is the desire of their depositors, who want to get income, not at any cost.

This is why financiers are interested in introducing new standards and new rules of the game in terms of biodiversity.

This year is the first time since the Paris Agreement in 2015 that financiers participating in various COPs on climate change are invited to participate in the UN Biodiversity Conference.

That is why representatives of the world’s main financial institutions are participating today in the Finance and Biodiversity Day of COP15. During the week, these financiers were also able to participate in external events organized within the framework of COP15.

Note that large private investors are increasingly here to support initiatives aimed at achieving the goal of protecting 30% of the planet’s land and oceans by 2030, and aligning their asset allocation with this goal.

Concrete examples

BNP Paribas bank is one of these major financial institutions that participated in the UN Biodiversity Conference for the first time. Laurence Pessez, director of social and environmental responsibility at BNP Paribas, explains that ESG investment has become central to the business strategy of the largest European bank.

“We are financing the energy transition by giving preference to renewable energies. For example, we no longer finance coal. We have left this sector to achieve the goal of neutrality in Europe and OECD countries in 2030.

“We stopped financing shale oil and gas and oil sands projects in 2017,” explains Mr.I Pull it.

This means that BNP Paribas no longer participates in capital investment projects in these sectors of activity, but it supports clients who want to convert to other renewable energy sources.

The French bank, which operates in more than 60 countries, is coming to COP15 to assess the impacts of biodiversity on its clients’ portfolios on the spot.

We want to create a common methodology and indicators for all financial institutions around the world. We are here to launch a new biodiversity framework. Negotiators are given a call to action.

Laurence Pessez, director of social and environmental responsibility at BNP Paribas

Laurence Pessez, who has been in office since 2010, admits that the first five years of his mandate as director of social and environmental responsibility have not been easy.

“At first I was a little itchy. But after the Paris Agreements of 2015 and clear targets, we understand that “Business “green” has great development potential. This has become the norm, my life has become easier,” says Laurence Pessez.

Financiers are at COP15 to prepare for the conference after the measures decided in Montreal that their institutions should include in evaluating new investment projects. takes into account environmental, social and governance criteria, as well as biodiversity conservation.

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