Torben Möger Pedersen, the chief executive officer of PensionDanmark, has been tasked with chairing one of 13 new climate partnerships the Social Democrat-led Danish government has set up to achieve its ambitious new climate target.

The government of Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, who took office at the end of June,  has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Denmark by 70% in relation to 1990 levels by 2030.

Frederiksen unveiled the climate partnerships and their chairs last week. The partnerships represent all branches of Danish business and are to define how each sector can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and propose concrete solutions.

Möger Pedersen has been appointed chair of the finance partnership.

He told IPE: “We will be a very important partnership for the 13 partnerships overall, and we expect to have a very close dialogue with the other partnerships in order to avoid silo thinking.”

What financial institutions can do within their own businesses to limit greenhouse gas emissions is relatively small, he said, involving greening the power in their data centres, for example. Their main role will be, he said, in putting together finance and funding for the complete programmes developed by the other partnerships.

“Our primary task will be to consider such questions as how can we support a programme for energy efficiency in existing buildings, how can we help shipping industries in their efforts to move to electrofuels, how we can help farm products move onto a more sustainable path, and how can we create more green infrastructure such as wind farms,” he said.

The work of the finance climate partnership will be coordinated by the industry associations Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD), Finance Denmark, the Ministry of Business Affairs and the Ministry of Climate and Energy.

“We have a hard deadline of the end of February by which time we are expected to have published our first roadmap with concrete proposals, and in September or October we will have to deliver the final report and action plan,” said Möger Pedersen.

PensionDanmark is very honoured to have been asked to chair the finance partnership, he added.

“It reflects the fact that we have been in many ways a first mover when it comes to developing sustainable investments,” he said, citing the pension fund’s programme for developing sustainable real estate and its infrastructure investment in renewable energy such as wind farms.

Danish pension funds already have a good starting point in this climate-orientated work, he said, as they are heavily engaged in the agenda.

The country’s major pension funds made a very strong climate commitment in September at the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit in New York, he said, where they pledged alongside the government to invest an extra DKK350bn (€46.8bn) before 2030 to support the green transition.

“It will be real estate, infrastructure, and also though the exercise of active ownership that Danish pension funds will play a role in climate change mitigation,” he said.