Push for climate neutrality is major business opportunity, says German govt

Photo by Stefan Widua

The German government urges Europe’s financial sector to see the shift to a more sustainable economy as a major business opportunity. 

“Transforming the economy towards greater sustainability offers huge opportunities. We need to grasp them now. Banks, insurers and investors have a particular responsibility in this respect, which is why our message is: invest more in sustainability and carbon neutrality!” said finance minister Olaf Scholz at the European Sustainable Finance Summit in Frankfurt.

Strong investor appetite for Germany’s first green bond issued recently underlined the enormous demand for green finance products,  Scholz said.

Only 2% of companies’ activities by revenue meet EU taxonomy criteria for climate action and sustainability, according to a statement

Deutsche Bank CEO Christian Sewing warned that banks that are not active in green finance stand to lose revenue. He said ratings for environmental, social and governance factors (ESG) would soon become as important as conventional credit ratings. 

“Investment is needed across all sectors, from energy and transport and the circular economy to water management and agriculture, and will have to be implemented on a global scale. 

“However, the European Sustainable Finance Survey shows that big companies still have a long way to go when it comes to achieving climate neutrality,” German environment minister Svenja Schulze said.

A survey conducted by the Association of German Banks found that 89% expect “palpable” or even “grave consequences” from the climate crisis. About half already use voluntary sustainability standards to prepare their workflows for tighter regulations.