Biodiversity is endangered. Half of the global GDP depends on nature and its diversity, according to World Economic Forum. Nevertheless, the yearly spend on activities damaging the environment doubles the cost of stopping the loss of biodiversity.
UN’s biodiversity conference, COP15 held in Montreal December 7-19, provides a unique opportunity for the global leaders to build a foundation for protecting and rebuilding biodiversity.
Therefore, the conference should be inspired by the Paris Agreement and provide countries with a mandate to demand the financial sector to align activities with the biodiversity targets that will be set at the conference. That is the message from Denmark’s largest labour-market pension fund, PensionDanmark, that has made biodiversity a top priority in the effort for sustainability.
“Our hope is that the world’s countries agree on high-reaching goals to set a direction for the funding of future nature-based solutions in order to turn around the loss of the nature. We are confident that the companies who assume responsibility for achieving positive change also obtain the best prerequisites to long-term investment returns. In that way the actions to create better conditions to improve biodiversity will also be promising news for our members and the growth of their savings” states CEO of PensionDanmark, Torben Möger Pedersen.
Earlier this year PensionDanmark launched a strategy to improve biodiversity in relation to new construction and urban zones. The strategy contains an obligation to improve biodiversity by 2030.
Meanwhile PensionDanmark has increased focus on dialogue with companies in the portfolio. The dialogue has a set goal to encourage companies who have either high dependency of or great impact on nature to report on this by using the coming framework for reporting from TNFD (Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures).
In the running towards COP15 PensionDanmark set a mark for biodiversity by signing two international encouragements to the participating Heads of State to enter ambitious and binding agreements during the conference.
By signing, PensionDanmark encourages:
- Ambitious targets on biodiversity including the concept of ‘nature positive’ as a new standard.
- A clear political mandate demanding the financial sector to align activities to the enacted biodiversity targets.
- Mandatory reporting on nature-related impact and dependencies from large companies and financial institutions.
- The acknowledgement of TNFD (Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures) as a risk management tool and reporting framework on nature-related matters.
Facts – PensionDanmark’s efforts to support biodiversity
- PensionDanmark has released a biodiversity strategy covering future investments in urban areas and new constructions, targeting a positive impact on nature from 2030.
- Part of the path to achieve this target is to set biodiversity as a criterion in the selection of construction sites and include biologists and landscapers in the early planning, while also ensuring a budget to enable urban nature, data collection and evaluation on nature efforts.
- PensionDanmark is set to build the urban area Sommarivabyen in Elsinore and a substantial part of the project will be the restoration of original nature with forest edges and coastal landscape in the area that is currently housing a former football stadium. Also, PensionDanmark has initiated the construction of Fælledby, the first urban area in Copenhagen to have wood as the consistent material in the structural elements.
- At the offshore wind farm Anholt Havmøllepark, where PensionDanmark holds a 30 percent stake, 3D-printed reefs has been installed to contribute to the marine biodiversity by providing safe habitats for small and juvenile fish.
- PensionDanmark has joined the international Finance for Biodiversity Pledge and signed statements from UNEP Finance Initiative and Business for Nature related to COP15.