News
29.11.2021

SBA hosts debate on building bridges to transition

As a founding partner of Building Bridges, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) is hosting a debate for representatives of government, academia and the financial centre in Geneva on 30 November 2021. Headed “Transition financing: the role of private sector financing in climate change mitigation”, it will seek ideas for navigating the transition. 

The goal of net zero carbon dioxide emissions has become a focus of the transition to a fair and sustainable society. The Swiss economy needs to invest almost CHF 400 billion to achieve this goal by 2050. As a study published recently by the Swiss Bankers Association and Boston Consulting Group showed, the lion’s share of this investment can be funded by the Swiss financial centre through lending and the capital market.

However, this requires bridges to be built between government, business and the financial centre. It is thus an obvious issue to address at the second meeting of Building Bridges, a joint initiative that brings all of Switzerland’s leading financial players together with authorities, UN organisations, NGOs and representatives of academia and the private sector around the same table.

With this in mind, the SBA – a founding partner of Building Bridges – is hosting a debate under the heading “Transition financing: the role of private sector financing in climate change mitigation” on 30 November 2021. Daniela Stoffel (State Secretary for International Finance) and Nathan Fabian (Chief Responsible Investment Officer at PRI and Chairperson of the European Platform on Sustainable Finance) will both give keynote speeches. Jörg Gasser (SBA), Catherine McGuinness (City of London), Christian Ossig (European Banking Federation) and Sonia I. Seneviratne (ETH Zurich) will then take part in a panel discussion on the challenges posed by the transition and its financing. The live stream of the event will start at 10 am.

“The financial centre is aware of its key role in the transition to climate neutrality, but it cannot achieve this alone. We need transparency rules for the entire economy, capital, companies and individuals that are prepared to invest, and an optimal framework put in place by the government. As the Swiss financial centre’s leading industry association, we do not just see Building Bridges as an opportunity for dialogue, we also expect concrete results in terms of moving the transition forward,” explains SBA CEO Jörg Gasser.

About Building Bridges

Building Bridges is a joint initiative, launched in 2019 by Swiss public authorities, the finance community (represented by the SBA, among others), the United Nations and other international partners to accelerate the transition to a global economic model aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the core of the initiative is the recognition that the scale and complexity of the transition require “building bridges” between multiple stakeholders in the finance, government and international development communities.

The first Building Bridges Summit took place in 2019 in Geneva on a bridge between the centre of international cooperation and the financial centre: an ideal venue in which to bring representatives of both fields together in a dialogue on how to step up their collective efforts further.

This year’s Building Bridges takes place from 29 November to 2 December 2021, once again in Geneva. It begins with the Building Bridges Summit on the first day. This prestigious event unites a variety of interest groups with the shared vision of speeding up the global economy’s transition to an economic model aligned with the SDGs. The following three days make up Building Bridges Week, featuring a packed programme of events hosted by a range of organisations on the topic of impact finance.

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