Biodiversity up the agenda in financial sector

Part of the financial sector will be more committed to biodiversity. 26 financial institutions, including 11 Dutch, say that today at a conference on the loss of nature. Together, the institutions manage more than EUR 3000 billion.

ASN, Rabobank, Aegon, Robeco and ASR, among others, pledge to contribute through their lending and investments. In addition, they call on Heads of Government to prevent loss of nature. This is the first time that a call for biodiversity has been made in this way.

The institutions first want to assess the scale of the problem and the consequences of measures. Companies with too little regard for biodiversity are being addressed to this. This should be settled by 2024.

โ€œ This goes beyond a general declaration of intent with the communication Youll hear from us, says Roel Nozeman, senior advisor biodiversity at ASN Bank in Trouw. โ€œ2024 may sound far away, but most institutions have yet to start. Biodiversity is a new topic in the financial sector.โ€

โ€œ Permanent loss of biodiversity is one of the greatest systemic risks to life on the planet,โ€ says Aegon. The insurer promises to appeal to companies it invests in to their influence on nature and the environment.

In theย longer term, it will become more difficult, or even no longer possible, for companies that cause loss of nature to obtain funding. Participants call on other financial institutions to join them.

Also self-interest

Dutch financial institutions have โ‚ฌ510 billion in financing, which may be at risk as a result of biodiversity loss, wrote De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB) and the Planbureau voor de Leefomgeving (PBL) in June.

As an example, pollination of food crops is mentioned. When bees disappear, problems can arise in agriculture.

But government policies that change can also cause problems for companies that have been loaned to, warned DNB and the PBL. As an example, the nitrogen crisis is mentioned.