Nordea’s new green finance expert: ‘Every sector will be affected by climate risk’

The newest member of Nordea’s Sustainable Finance Advisory team explains why companies should start focusing on climate risk now.

Alexander Berg is no stranger to climate risk and opportunities.

The newest member of Nordea’s Sustainable Finance Advisory team, Alex has spent the past three-and-a-half years at Cicero, the independent climate research institute and leading provider of reviews for green bonds, known for its “shades of green” methodology.

“I have a lot of experience figuring out just how green a company, specific investment or transaction is,” says Alex. However, given Cicero’s role as an independent second party opinion (SPO) provider, Alex has not been able to advise companies and bond issuers on what they should do – until now.

“At Nordea, I’m now able to use the toolset I’ve acquired to actually advise clients, which I find very attractive,” he says. At Nordea, Alex will be advising clients on a range of sustainable finance issues, from green bond issuances and frameworks to sustainability-linked and green loans.

Alexander Berg, Nordea Sustainable Finance Advisory

Alexander Berg

Position: Associate Director, Investment Banking, Sustainable Finance Advisory

Age: 39

Home: Oslo

Past jobs:

  • Senior Advisor at CICERO Climate Finance
  • Senior Advisor for Country- bank and sector risk at the Norwegian Export Credit Guarantee Agency (GIEK)
  • Trainee at Statkraft

Family: Married with 2 children

Interests: “In my soon 11 years in Norway, I admit to have failed to develop the signature Norwegian love for cross country skiing. I try to make up for it by biking in the woods, even in winter.”

Interest in sustainability: Energy transition and the climate footprint of the food value chain.

What goes around comes around

As someone focused on the E in ESG, Alex says one of the most salient themes in his work is climate risk. He sums it up with the old adage: what goes around comes around. What’s “going around” are changes in the global climate and local weather, driven by greenhouse gas emissions that accumulate in our atmosphere and lead to rising temperatures. What’s also going around are efforts to change that, such as multilateral agreements, the pricing of carbon emissions and regulations defining “green” economic activities and financial instruments.

Both of these processes, changes in climate and weather (physical risk) and efforts to curb emissions in all sectors (transition risk), make up climate risk, and they have started to “come around” to the sectors, companies and organizations that comprise the global economy.

“I don’t think anyone will be spared. Every sector will be affected by climate risk in one way or another. While the transition may be scary, it should be started sooner rather than later,” Alex says.

I don’t think anyone will be spared. Every sector will be affected by climate risk in one way or another. While the transition may be scary, it should be started sooner rather than later.

Alexander Berg, Nordea Sustainable Finance Advisory

Getting on the disclosure bandwagon

“Companies need to show which climate risks may affect them, what this means for their operations and how they intend to deal with this risk,” says Alex.

Tools and methods have been developed to guide this disclosure, such as the Recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and the EU Sustainable Finance Action Plan. Such initiatives are driving corporate climate risk disclosure, which will help address many of the current uncertainties, according to Alex. As the financial sector will be able to include climate risk in their analysis and due diligence, companies can avoid higher costs of financing, and those that qualify can access green finance at a potential discount. Disclosure will also increasingly be a matter of complying with regulations and reporting requirements.

“In climate finance, transparency and honesty about green and brown activities is highly valued over pretending that all is green and clean,” Alex says.

In climate finance, transparency and honesty about green and brown activities is highly valued over pretending that all is green and clean.

Alexander Berg, Nordea Sustainable Finance Advisory

As the largest Nordic financial institution, Nordea has the opportunity and responsibility to assist clients in understanding this emerging landscape of client risk and disclosure.

“Together with the Sustainable Finance Advisory team, I am looking forward to helping clients understand what goes around, and to be well prepared for what may come around,” he says.

For more on climate risk

The information provided within this website is intended for background information only. The views and other information provided herein are the current views of Nordea Bank Abp as of the date of publication and are subject to change without notice. The information provided within this website is not an exhaustive description of the described product or the risks related to it, and it should not be relied on as such, nor is it a substitute for the judgement of the recipient.

The information provided within this website is not intended to constitute and does not constitute investment advice nor is the information intended as an offer or solicitation for the purchase or sale of any financial instrument. The information provided within this website has no regard to the specific investment objectives, the financial situation or particular needs of any particular recipient. Relevant and specific professional advice should always be obtained before making any investment or credit decision. It is important to note that past performance is not indicative of future results.

Nordea Bank Abp is not and does not purport to be an adviser as to legal, taxation, accounting or regulatory matters in any jurisdiction.

The information provided within this website may not be reproduced, distributed or published for any purpose without the prior written consent from Nordea Bank Abp.

Related articles