Sweden in the Spotlight
Following the Swedish general election, which essentially left the country deadlocked between the Red-Green and Allians blocs with the Sweden Democrats as the likely kingmaker in the long negotiations ahead to install a new government, what of the country’s climate politics after environmental issues were overshadowed by immigration and more traditional issues? NordSIP takes a look.
On a bright Stockholm afternoon, NordSIP sat down with Arabesque Chairman and UN Global Compact co-founder George Kell in Stockholm to discuss Arabesque’s S-Ray tool, a tool which allows anyone to monitor the sustainability of the world’s 7,000 corporations and Sweden’s strength in sustainability making the country’s financial institutions key partners for the firm. Arabesque also announced a strategic alliance with Eagle Investment Systems to enhance the tool.
Green investment financier Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) and Sweden launched a €10m funding programme to support the development of long-term sustainable district heating systems in Ukraine. Sweden is the 7th largest donor to Ukraine, where 46% of households still rely on state subsidies to pay for rising heating costs.
SPP Fastigheter (SPP Real Estate) was crowned best in Europe in sustainability in the Diversified category of the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB) organisation results for 2018, also receiving a “Green Star 2018”, GRESB’s highest distinction.
Finally, Folksam LO Pension, the Swedish Trade Union confederation, mandated tougher criteria for sustainable investments for companies employing LO members that are part of Folksam’s fund management.
Heard on E-Street
PRI in Person, the leading global conference on responsible investing, is currently being held in San Francisco. “There is a lot of action on climate change, but it’s not nearly enough to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement,” PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said in her opening statements (Chief Investment Officer).
The European Investment Bank (EIB) issued its first Sustainability Awareness Bond to the tune of €500m to support investments into water projects, with health and nutrition to follow. This is the first EIB funding directly supporting sustainable finance (EIB).
The Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) signed a €100m 10-year loan programme to finance infrastructure projects across Africa and support export projects from the Nordics and Baltics (The Sun).
Unlike in Scandinavia, sustainable investing is a low priority issue for most institutional investors globally, according to a survey by Schroders, with almost a third of those polled saying sustainable investing had “little or no influence” on decisions (Investments & Pensions Europe).
Famous Last Words
“The Paris agreement is on the brink. If [developed countries] remain stuck in their positions and fail to loosen their purses, this treaty may collapse”
says Harjeet Singh of ActionAid, a global NGO, following a clash between developed and developing countries in negotiations in Bangkok last week to make progress on rules needed to implement the 2015 Paris agreement, which are slated to be finalised for the COP24 climate talks in Katowice in December. Traditional disagreements between rich and poor countries in terms of finances, transparent reporting and enforcing climate commitments are at the fore (Politico).
Have a well-deserved weekend,
Your NordSIP team
Image © NosorogUA – Shutterstock