Denmark’s pensions and insurance sector has welcomed the government’s new business partnership on biodiversity and called for the creation of high-quality data on biodiversity risks to form part of the work.

Kent Damsgaard, chief executive officer of industry association Insurance & Pension Denmark (IPD), said: “We are happy that the government has included us in this partnership to preserve and promote biodiversity.

“Insurance and pension companies are active players on the sustainable agenda, so it is also clear that we should be involved in helping develop recommendations that can support the necessary work to protect and promote biodiversity both in Denmark and the rest of the world,” he said.

IPD was responding to yesterday’s launch by the Environment Ministry of a new “partnership to help Danish companies in their voluntary efforts to protect the world’s nature”.

The Biodiversity Partnership is to be chaired by the ministry, with 15 organisations to nominate members, including IPD, the Confederation of Danish Industry, the Danish Chamber of Commerce, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council, alongside the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the Global Compact Network Denmark and others.

The partnership is expected to make contributions within a year to the creation of four sets of recommendations, such as recommendations for Danish companies on how they can best act in the area of biodiversity and recommendations to authorities about perceived barriers and possible incentive structures.

“We are a central player with investments in everything from wind and solar energy to properties, infrastructure and forestry, where biodiversity also plays a decisive role,” Damsgaard said.

Through the industry’s investments, he said, there was an opportunity to contribute positively to global nature and biodiversity, although much work remained to be done to achieve widespread agreement on definitions and what should be measured.

Damgaard said that where there was agreement on the rise in temperature, pension and insurance companies were able to help by lowering CO2 emissions and measuring this, but said the same fixed point did not exist with regard to biodiversity.

“We would also like to include quality data in relation to biodiversity risks, dependence and impact in the partnership,” the CEO said.

“We can be in a much stronger position if we have a better handle on those elements, so it will also be good to get the cooperation started with the government and the other members of the partnership,” he said.

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