My name is Sandeep, Editor at Trade Finance Global and here we are today
at ExCred International in London. I’m joined by Paul Heaney, Acting Secretary-General
at the Berne Union. Paul, thanks for joining us on Trade Finance Talks TV. Thank you very much,
So quick introduction in 30 seconds or so, who are you, where are you from, and what do you do at the Berne Union? For anyone who doesn’t know, the BU is the industry association
For export credit and investment insurance
We have global membership, 83 members, ECAs, multilateral institutions, and also the private credit and political risk insurance market. Until recently, for the past six years, I’ve been the Head of the Communications
at BU, leading our strategic comms, our outreach publications, and research functions Great.
And a powerful message
From the Berne Union presentation this morning, particularly around providing practical action on climate. Can you elaborate a bit more about the message of this presentation? Yeah, I think it’s obvious when you come to an event like this that climate is on top of everyone’s agenda. It’s something that everyone’s
talking about, and I think across our industry, it’s also becoming an important part
Of the strategy of all Berne Union members and other institutions across the wider trade finance
and export credit insurance industry.
What’s less even is the degree to which climate considerations have been implemented practically
in the business of these institutions, and there are a lot of reasons for that, and companies are coming
from different starting points in terms of their position on climate and their industrial base.
The role of the Berne Union, of course in general, is to facilitate dialogue, and information transfer, and to try to highlight best practices across these kinds of things. So there’re two areas specifically on climate that I think we can have a real practical impact on.
The first is we launched a climate working group at the start of this year and this brings together a multidisciplinary group of experts in climate and sustainability, risk underwriting, policy, and international relations, across Berne Union members and also from other parts of the industry, including the commercial banking sector, development finance institutions as well.
The purpose of this group is to try to distill some of the expertise
Of some of the positive actions that these institutions are taking, highlight those and try to move
the whole industry forward with positive examples that they can learn from, that they can implement, and inspirations.
So we’re working over the remainder of this year and probably ongoing through next as well.
We’re creating a series of educational materials, so we’re looking to highlight in a series of webinars examples of innovation in products, in climate incentives, and in a few transaction structures that are targeting climate.
We’re also creating a series of explainer articles to help demonstrate how some Berne Union members are approaching things like implementing TCFD reporting, conducting carbon portfolio accounting exercises, or applying scientific targets to some of their businesses.
So this is all information that we want to make publicly available and we want to try and highlight
the positive impact that export credit can make through some of these changes within the institutions.
The other area, very briefly, that I wanted to mention is of course the Berne Union is the only multilateral forum for the export credit insurance industry, and there’s wide recognition that as well as changes within individual institutions, we need some changes within the underlying framework of the industry to enable export credit agencies and the rest of the industry to meet the climate objectives of their governments.
This means that we need to look at the reform of the OECD, but we also need a more comprehensive dialogue because this is a global issue and it requires cooperation also with non-OECD members.
I think although the Berne Union is not a standard-setting body, the role that we can play is in helping facilitate that universal and broader dialogue that can maybe feed into more progress on discussions within the forum where this kind of rule is adjusted and set.