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Commentary by Peter van der Werf ahead of World Environment Day (5 June)

On the 5th of June, it’s World Environment Day and that is a good moment to take stock of actions all global stakeholders should take to protect the environment. Biodiversity is an important topic to us, at Robeco, and as such we have signed the Finance for Biodiversity pledge in 2020. Robeco was one of the launching signatories of the Pledge, since then a total of 55 signatories representing 9 trillion USD assets under management have joined the ranks, which is an incredible sign of progress that the financial industry is rapidly coming to grips with the systemic risk that biodiversity loss presents globally.

We however understand that signing the pledge is only the first step. To enable our organization to deliver on all commitments we have mandated a Biodiversity Taskforce to develop a materiality analysis, we have actively developed a biodiversity footprint standard together with the Platform Biodiversity Accounting Financials (PBAF) and contributed to the launch of the TNFD taskforce as member of the informal working group (IWG) for the TNFD in the past nine months.

Next to these important initiatives Robeco is also working on global engagement on the topic of biodiversity together with other global partners in this space. While these actions by itself will not save biodiversity, we are convinced that concerted efforts by the global financial industry can provide a meaningful contribution to deliver the commitments of the global biodiversity framework that will be negotiated at the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) COP 15 in Kunming later this year. No net loss by 2030 and net positive biodiversity by 2050 are on the table and all signatories to the Finance for Biodiversity Pledge will work towards realizing these commitments collectively. We should really act now, and encourage every institution to play their part.

Peter van der Werf, Senior Manager Engagement, Active Ownership at Robeco

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