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FOEN climate compatibility test: Swiss financial centre on the way to more sustainability

FOEN climate compatibility test: Swiss financial centre on the way to more sustainability

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) has recommended that its members take the voluntary climate compatibility test set by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN). The high level of participation allows a representative analysis of the current progress in meeting climate targets.

The Swiss Bankers Association unreservedly supports the Paris Agreement on climate change. The Swiss financial sector is increasingly channelling finance flows to boost the transition towards a more sustainable economy. “We have set ourselves the goal of becoming a leading international hub for sustainable investments,” says Jörg Gasser, CEO of the SBA.   

The climate compatibility tests allow banks, asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds to assess the extent to which their portfolios and loan books contribute to the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, i.e. the extent to which they are designed to help reduce global warming to below two degrees Celsius. 

“If we are to improve further, the transparency of these financial flows is essential,” says Jörg Gasser. “We have recommended that our members take part in the FOEN climate compatibility test. I welcome the high level of participation, as it provides a representative picture. It was not an easy decision to make, because, as might be expected, we are still a long way from where we should be and want to be. This result not only reflects where the financial sector currently stands, but also, in a globally oriented financial center like Switzerland, reflects the measures taken in the real economy worldwide. As financial intermediaries, banks have an important leverage function in directing financial flows towards sustainability goals. At the same time, banks are dependent on the initiative and transparency of their clients. The task now is for everyone – the real economy, banks, consumers, the authorities and industry associations – to work together to implement the improvements. The funds channelled by investors go to finance a real economy that is embedded within a broader political and social framework. This means that changes can only be achieved collectively with consultation on all systemic levels.”  

The current analysis provides valuable insights and a good basis to define the necessary action to be taken, fine-tune the measures and allow steady progress to be made.  

The FOEN compatibility test can be found HERE.