The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.


All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.
ESG

Erste chief executive calls on policymakers to step up on climate

Emerging Europe has been slow to join the fight against climate change. Now the region’s biggest banking group is making its voice heard.

Bernhard-Spalt_Erste-by-Wolfgang-Zac-960.jpg
Bernd Spalt. Photo: Wolfgang Zac

No one likes to be the bearer of bad news. At the recent United Nations climate conference, COP26, bankers and asset managers waxed lyrical about the opportunities for stakeholders of all stripes to profit from the energy transition. Costs were only mentioned in the context of the need for modest amounts of public-sector financing to ‘catalyze’ vast flows of investment from the private sector.

Bernd Spalt, chief executive of Austria’s Erste Group, has little time for such rose-tinted views.

“There will be on the transition journey win-win situations where everybody will benefit, where newer and greener technologies will pay for themselves and create pools of profitability,” he says. “But the idea that this will apply in every area is naïve.

“Overall, the transition will cost money. There will be many opportunities and there is no alternative, but there will be victims on the road and there will be net payers.”

He is equally unhappy about any suggestion that the financial sector can save the world. This was certainly the impression given by COP’s focus on the unprecedented participation of the private sector and the fanfare around the news that institutions representing $130 trillion had signed up to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (G-Fanz).


You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree