Erik Thedéen: Climate and sustainability in focus at FI

FI’s Director General spoke today at the Finansdagen conference in Stockholm.

  • Date: 2019-09-10
  • Speaker: Erik Thedéen
  • Meeting: Finansdagen

In his speech, Erik Thedéen underscored that sustainability issues in general, and climate issues in particular, are a challenge at the systemic level. The market economy's strength, according to Thedéen, is that it is decentralised, which has created good conditions for increasing productivity and rising real wages.

"But this strength is also an Achilles' heel. The economic system is vulnerable, for example when costs are borne by others or arise much later in time. When it comes to the environment and climate, these problems are very evident," he commented.

Working with sustainability is about providing the actors in the economy with good conditions for meeting these challenges. The financial system plays an important role by managing climate and transition risks and facilitating appropriate investments.

"When the price does not capture the relevant information, efforts need to be made to strengthen the signal. The risks, and the opportunities, need to become visible. And costs that are transferred to others, whether today or in the future, need to become visible," he said.

He emphasised that smart firms are proactive in their work with sustainability.

"Firms need to ensure their resilience to transition risks. Smart firms do this by being agile and adapting their business models in time. The size of future risks is largely determined by how we act today," he says.

He also highlighted the need for better data and that the sustainability information firms provide today needs to become more harmonised.

"Firms need to do more to ensure that their reporting is relevant and usable, and comparability must improve, not only across firms but also across regions and industries," he said.

The IOSCO Sustainable Finance Network, which is chaired by FI, conducted an analysis in the spring to gain a better overview of how different countries are working with these issues, the initiatives that are currently under way in the area, and the degree to which different frameworks and standards are applied. He encouraged the industry to work together toward better harmonisation.

Thedéen also commented on ongoing anti-money laundering efforts.

"Forceful efforts to combat money laundering are of great importance for the public's faith in banks and government authorities," he concluded.