Stockholm (NordSIP) – Almost 18 months after being tasked by the Swedish government with investigating how the Swedish export finance system can contribute to the global climate transition, EKN (the Swedish Export Credit Agency) and SEK (the Swedish Export Credit Corporation) announced the creation of the Scientific Climate Council.
The council is set to offer scientifically-based solutions to climate change challenges and to particularly focus on the impact that export finance has on global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It will consider issues such as how commitments of countries and companies are updated and how the IPCC’s reports should impact the direction of both Swedish and international export finance systems or what role natural gas could play for the energy transition in low- and middle-income countries.
The new organisation has no operational role in individual business transactions but will serve as a knowledge resource and a discussion partner for EKN and SEK concerning fundamental strategic policy positions.
“Swedish companies hold a prominent position in meeting global demand for technology that enables a sustainable use of resources. For many years, the Swedish export credit system has made long-term contributions to the competitiveness of Swedish companies. The aim of the scientific climate council is to strengthen our important work to support the climate transition of Swedish export companies and their customers,” says Magnus Montan, CEO of SEK.
The announcement follows the submission by EKN of a report on the issue at the start of September 2020. At the time, Anna-Karin Jatko, Director General, EKN noted that “we shall seize the opportunity to influence other actors through active encouragement and facilitation of export transactions, to advance global climate transition and avoid contributing to long-term lock-in effects in regard to reliance on fossil fuels. Climate awareness is rapidly increasing in the financial markets and the export finance system strives to be a positive force in the transition.”
EKN’s and SEK’s climate transition efforts are at the forefront from a global perspective. Stringent requirements are set for projects that receive guarantees and credits and the Swedish export finance system was one of the first to cease export financing the extraction and transportation of coal. EKN and SEK also work to promote international consensus and regulations aligned with the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
“The world needs a quick transition. At the same time, low- and middle-income countries need to develop their energy supplies and infrastructure to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. For us as financial institutions, this naturally entails the management of complex topics. As such, it is important that we base our strategic decisions on current science, in addition to the dialogues we already have with companies, banks and civil society organisations,” EKN’s Jatko argued on this occasion.
The Scientific Climate Council will be led by four scientists. Måns Nilsson is an Executive Director at SEI and Adjunct Professor in Environmental Strategies Research at the Royal Institute of Technology. Max Åhman is an Associate Professor in Environmental and Energy Systems studies at Lund University. Tomas Kåberger is a Professor at Chalmers and former Director General of Swedish Energy Agency. Anna Krook-Riekkola is an Associate Professor in Energy Science at Luleå University of Technology.