What are the main stakes involved in protecting the ocean?
The ocean is crucial for our planet and provides many
services. It provides humans with essential resources in terms of biodiversity:
200 000 species have been identified; doubtlessly, there are many millions in
reality. It provides food security and contributes to health and habitats
preservation and to coastal protection. As an important source of jobs, the
maritime industry is a major pillar of our globalised economies.
Climate-wise, the ocean captures almost 30% of the CO2
emitted by human activities and thus play a key role in combatting climate
The ocean is precious, but is under threat. Its condition
is deteriorating rapidly under the effects of climate change, CO2 emissions and
pressure from both land and sea-based activities, as illustrated by the
deterioration of coral reefs, overfishing and land-originated pollution.
What guarantee can a banking group provide for the blue economy? What concrete actions need to be implemented and have already been undertaken? What is the BNP Paribas Group doing for the blue economy?
In the same way that a bank plays an important role in
fighting climate change and financing the energy transition, it can finance
many activities with a direct link to land and marine biodiversity. In this
way, it has an indirect impact.
Given the bank’s commitment to contributing to the
achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), BNP Paribas
committed more specifically a year ago to SDG 14 (Life Below Water), which is
the one SDG least supported by companies (only 14% of companies see it as a
The commitment is finance activities with a potential impact
on the ocean in the most responsible way possible, notably shipping, fishing,
aquaculture and offshore infrastructures. This goes hand in hand with
supporting clients in their transition, through both the development of
positive impact financing and a EUR 1 billion envelope dedicated to financing
shipping’s ecological transition by 2025.
BNP Paribas seeks to support innovation by investing in
projects such as sustainable aquaculture and alternatives to plastic packaging
from petrochemical sources. It supports start-up acceleration programmes such
as “We Are Innovation” in France or the “Sustainable Ocean Alliance”, a
non-profit incubator organisation dedicated to ocean protection in the US.
How might the development of the blue economy affect the daily lives of BNP Paribas clients, be they individuals or professionals?
Participating in ocean protection requires a commitment to
the ecological transition of all the sectors involved. This transition goes
hand in hand with research, innovation and investment.
In shipping, for example, the International Maritime
Organization’s target of halving the sector’s carbon emissions by 2050 requires
a significant technological breakthrough. The LNG (liquefied natural gas)
engines being developed today are heading in the right direction and the
industry is currently testing other even more disruptive technologies with
lower emissions such as green hydrogen, ammonia, electric batteries and even a
return to sailing.
The development of the blue economy affects all economic
stakeholders, both start-ups and longer-established companies, that benefit
from the ocean. Raising awareness is key to meeting the challenges: Sustainable
aquaculture rather than overfishing certain species; protecting and promoting
coastal ecosystems for their role in capturing carbon; and enhancing the value
of natural assets and tourist attractions.
What are the main BNP Paribas business lines involved in the development of the blue economy? What kinds of initiatives are being undertaken?
BNP Paribas seeks to use all available sources of leverage.
Beyond its direct assistance in the sector through banking products and
services, BNP Paribas is involved in investment initiatives aimed at promoting
good practices. It took part in the work of the “Green Marine Europe”
certification programme, an initiative launched in 2020 by the “Surfrider
Foundation” providing voluntary environmental certification for the shipping
We closely collaborate with clients, experts from the
scientific world and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). We are also working
with other financial institutions to establish common reporting frameworks, as
illustrated by the Poseidon Principles, which deal with the calculation of CO2
emissions related to shipping financing portfolios.
As part of its Climate and Biodiversity Initiative, the BNP Paribas Foundation supports eight scientific research projects on the protection of ocean and marine biodiversity. Finally, within its own operations, the Group is committed to ending the use of petrochemical plastic and single-use products.
Read more about sustainable investing
Any views expressed
here are those of the author as of the date of publication, are based on
available information, and are subject to change without notice. Individual
portfolio management teams may hold different views and may take different
investment decisions for different clients. This document does not constitute
The value of
investments and the income they generate may go down as well as up and it is
possible that investors will not recover their initial outlay. Past performance
is no guarantee for future returns.
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to a higher-than-average volatility due to a high degree of concentration,
greater uncertainty because less information is available, there is less
liquidity or due to greater sensitivity to changes in market conditions
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Originally Appeared On: https://investors-corner.bnpparibas-am.com/investing/bnp-paribas-commitment-to-the-blue-economy-is-strong-and-concrete/