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Fifty financial institutions sign for climate goals

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Around fifty banks, insurers, pension funds and asset managers and their umbrella organisations have today committed themselves to the government's climate goals. In the presence of Minister Hoekstra of Finance, they have signed a commitment with which they commit themselves to report on the climate impact of their financing and investments from 2020. In addition, they will have action plans ready by 2022 that contribute to a reduction in CO2 emissions.

The sector thus contributes both nationally and internationally to achieving the Paris climate goals. The commitments are not without obligation. The commitment of the financial sector is continuously monitored and the agreements are reassessed every five years. The intended Climate Agreement aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49 percent in a cost-effective manner by 2030 compared to 1990.

The financial sector wants to make a substantial contribution to sustainability projects in order to properly shape the energy transition in the various sectors of the economy and society. The sector will also strengthen cooperation between different types of financial institutions, including Invest-NL, to increase financing opportunities for climate-friendly projects.

As laid down in the commitment, the four financial umbrella organisations (Dutch Banking Association, Dutch Association of Insurers, Pension Federation and Dufas) are organising working conferences on measuring and managing climate impact. The Platform for Sustainable Finance is involved in this. The aim is to share knowledge and experiences. This concerns knowledge about both financing sustainability projects and measuring the CO2 content of financing and investments.

At the beginning of this year, the first working conference took place, organized by the Dutch Banking Association on the theme of climate risks. Last Tuesday, the Dutch Association of Insurers welcomed more than 150 visitors for the second edition. During this session, the emphasis was on collaboration in measuring the impact of financing and investments. The third session is scheduled for early next year.

Here's what concerned chairmen say about the commitment:

Gerard van Olphen, Chairman of the Board of APG Group and recently Chairman of the Finance Task Force:
"In a short period of time, pension funds, insurers, banks and asset managers have succeeded in voluntarily and collectively committing themselves to the Paris goals. They will also be publicly accountable for this. That is internationally groundbreaking and I am extremely proud of that. However, this is only the beginning. Now it is important to start delivering and to keep the agreements we have made with society."

Chris Buijink, chairman of the Dutch Banking Association:
"We're not just doing this because it's just good business. The transition offers economic opportunities. It is also wise to take climate risks very seriously. But we do this mainly because we see it as our social responsibility. As a financial sector, we – together with our customers – can make a difference. I am proud that we are not only doing this as a banking sector, but together with the three other umbrella organisations."

Willem van Duin, chairman of the Dutch Association of Insurers:
"I am proud that we are signing this agreement. The entire insurance sector feels the urgency and the need to develop even more specific attention to climate policy. The strength of this signing is that the entire sector is committed to reducing CO2. If you all have the same objective, you are strong together. Making our society more sustainable, that's what insurers are 100 percent committed to."

Shaktie Rambaran Mishre, President of the Pension Federation:
"Pension funds invest in order to offer their participants a good pension. But we also want them to be able to enjoy it in a liveable world. That is why we are committing ourselves today to agreements on reducing CO2."

Roelie van Wijk, chairman Dufas:
"The Dutch financial sector has taken a unique step worldwide by working together throughout the Dutch financial chain to help achieve the climate objectives of the government and all relevant parties within the Dutch climate agreement. We have been working on this commitment for a year and a half and it is fantastic that we have reached a joint agreement. It is now up to the financial sector to implement the agreements and show progress in a transparent manner."

Read the English press release here .

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