WWF urges Swiss regulator to act on biodiversity risk

Environmental organisation WWF Switzerland is calling on the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the financial watchdog FINMA to act over potential biodiversity risk.

“A growing number of central banks have begun to investigate biodiversity risks and take them into account in their supervisory activities. Now the SNB and FINMA must follow suit,” WWF Switzerland said.

The call to action follows the publication of a new WWF report, Why central bankers need to take action on biodiversity risk, which warns that current practices of only integrating climate-related risks and impacts in existing mandates of central banks and financial supervisors, and not including risks from nature loss, fall short in ensuring a sustainable financial system.

Based on the conclusions of the report, WWF Switzerland has set out three key recommendations for the two Swiss institutions:

They should act from the principle that environmental degradation and loss of biodiversity, like global warming, lead to financial risks.

Preventive measures should also be taken to reduce the risks associated with the loss of biodiversity. The monitoring of risks in the individual economic sectors and in monetary policy would offer starting points for this, while central banks should also consider these risks in their own areas of activity and support research on these topics.

Finally, the SNB and FINMA should act in accordance with Switzerland’s environmental goals and work for a common international financial regulation that integrates and considers environmental aspects, the WWF said.

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