Vice President Thomsen,
I am delighted that so many of you could join us virtually today to a new edition of the seminar dedicated to Investment and Investment Finance in Romania, a webinar organized by the European Investment Bank in partnership with the National Bank of Romania.
Please allow me to extend warm greetings to Mr. Christian Kettel Thomsen, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank and to Ms. Debora Revoltella, Chief Economist of the European Investment Bank. Let me also express our gratitude for the European Investment Bank’s constant involvement and support in engaging the stakeholders in Romania through this effective series of events.
This year’s seminar will run under the theme ‘Towards a green and smart economy in Romania’, a topic that emphasizes the great acceleration of change occurred throughout the past year. The coronavirus pandemic is shaping the global economy, reminding the world the stringent need to adapt to the changing climate. In this sense, 2020 could be the year that marks a shift towards an inclusive and transformative growth, providing an unprecedented moment to place the investment plans prioritizing on green transition and digitalization at the core of the economic recovery.
At the European Union level, there is a growing consensus that the recovery from the current corona crisis needs to be sustainable. The European Green Deal and the Next Generation EU funds provide a unique opportunity for resource reallocation and transformation towards greener and more digitalized economies. We should seize this opportunity.
Moving forward, central banks and supervisors in Europe and around the world are laying the groundwork to integrate climate risks into their activities, to an extent consistent with their mandates. This could be done by several avenues. I could mention three of them: i) Assessing climate risk exposure of the financial sector, including climate-related considerations into their stress tests; (ii) ensuring that banks build proper business strategies and credit risk management frameworks to deal with climate-relate risks and iii) raising awareness about risks and opportunities to the economy and financial sector stemming from climate change agenda.
The main obstacle we may still need to address is the lack of appropriate analytical tools, methodologies and data. The National Bank of Romania has taken several steps to identify, develop and utilize some of the specific tools for climate risk analysis within the financial stability policy framework. We have joined other central banks that play an active role in promoting sustainable finance. In 2019, the NBR started to invest in sustainable bonds and this approach targeted, in the first phase, green bonds. In September 2020, the National Bank of Romania has become a member of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System that aims to improve the analysis and management of climate-related and environmental risks.
It is also important to flag the initiative of the Romanian National Committee for Macroprudential Oversight that set up, in October 2020, a working group aiming at developing green finance. This group led by the NBR has a wide representativeness: Presidential Administration, line ministries involved in climate change agenda, Financial Supervisory Authority, Romanian Banking Association, Bucharest Stock Exchange, Romanian Municipalities Association, private sector consortiums, main IFIs active in Romanian, etc. We expect the results of this working group to be broadly embraced at the level of the Romanian society.
Let me also mention the excellent country analysis conducted by the EIB through its annual Investment Survey which shows that most Romanian companies report already investing or planning to invest to tackle the impact of climate change and that some enterprises already have internal targets on carbon and energy. We are glad to see that these trends are in line with the EU average.
Still, we are aware that we are only at the beginning of this process and we need to make sure that the financial sector stands ready to support these changes.
With these in mind, I would like to invite our honoured guests and audience to have a fruitful discussion. Please allow me to invite Vice-President Thomsen to take the floor.
Thank you for your attention.
25 februarie 2021