Build back better

The vital role finance must play in the post-Covid-19 recovery.

Post-Covid-19 economics represents a paradigm shift, and finance will have a pivotal role in the rebuilding effort, according to Pierre Rousseau, Strategic Adviser for Sustainable Business at BNP Paribas, in conversation with the International Finance Corporation (IFC, part of the World Bank Group).

The Climate Biz podcast, hosted by the IFC’s Marcene Mitchell, Senior Manager of Climate Business and Strategy, and Shari Friedman, Senior Strategist, discusses the transformational effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on the global economy and on society, with Pierre focusing on how finance can support sustainable development:

  1. Collective action: investors and companies alike must find the solutions and ideas necessary to address key environmental and social challenges – with banks playing a key advisory or funding role, which will require active engagement

  2. Nature-based solutions to address biodiversity loss: Given the urgency of biodiversity risks, nature-based solutions are needed to support ecosystems and resilience – including new approaches such as blended finance (e.g. Tropical Landscape Finance Facility), and other approaches to channelling capital

  3. Technology & digitalisation: data will be vital in ensuring transparency and traceability of supply chains, while numerous technologies emerging, including hydrogen and new waste management approaches, that will drive forward the circular economy and decarbonisation

Listen to IFC ClimateBiz podcast:

BNP Paribas and climate action
BNP Paribas has taken the following steps to address the biodiversity and climate action challenge as part of its environmental approach: 

  • In May 2020, BNP Paribas extended its coal exit policy to all OECD countries as part of its target to end the use of coal by electric power sector clients by the end of 2030
  • In September 2019, BNP Paribas launched its inaugural Ocean protection policy at the UN Climate Summit in New York, committing €1 billion by 2025 to finance the ecological transition of ships 
  •  BNP Paribas Asset Management has begun assessing the sourcing of seafood, and the plastic and packaging strategies of companies in the consumer sector, adjusting their overall ESG scores and engaging with them to improve best practices (the initial study being conducted in collaboration with the Natural Capital Protocol) 
  • Since 2010, the BNP Paribas Foundation has financed the Climate & Biodiversity Initiative, providing €18 million for 27 research projects 
  • First biodiversity-linked loan – BNP Paribas acted as sustainability coordinator for Finnish forest bio-industry company, UPM, for its €750 million revolving credit facility (RCF) linked to net positive biodiversity impact metrics and a 65% reduction in CO2 emissions from fuels and purchased electricity .