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  • #BackBlue is a UN-backed blue finance commitment focused on driving sustainable investment into Ocean and coastal resilience
  • Call for more financial institutions and insurers to join the landmark commitment
  • #BackBlue is led by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance

Dubai, Friday 8th December 2023 – Today Deutsche Bank, which has total assets of 1,358 billion EUR and has 1,407 billion EUR of assets under management became the first bank to join #BackBlue – a Blue Finance Commitment which ensures that a sustainable and regenerating Ocean has a seat at the table in finance and insurance decisions.

The Deutsche Bank announcement comes on the eve of Ocean Day at the COP28 climate summit in Dubai, where ORRAA will be making a call for more financial institutions and insurers to follow suit. Deutsche Bank is ORRAA’s lead global banking partner.

#BackBlue was launched by the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) ahead of the UN’s Climate COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. The first financial institutions to join #BackBlue were AXA, WTW and Palladium.

Markus H.-P. Müller, Managing Director, Chief Investment Officer ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) and Global Head of Chief Investment Office, Private Bank at Deutsche Bank said:

“Deutsche Bank is proud to announce that we are intensifying our relationship with ORRAA and commitment to investing into, sustaining and regenerating blue nature by joining the #BackBlue Ocean Finance Commitment. Deutsche Bank will continue to work on developing financial solutions supporting ocean protection and will review its internal policies during the course of 2024 to strengthen its due diligence requirements for ocean-related activities. This review will take into consideration aspects of international frameworks including the Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles of the UNEP FI and the Global Biodiversity Framework agreed at the Biodiversity COP15 in December 2022.

“Deutsche Bank has already launched a dedicated philanthropic fund for Ocean solutions, hosted an Ocean Conference with ORRAA in 2022 to build an ocean investment community, and partners with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission on the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.”

Karen Sack, Executive Director, ORRAA added: “ORRAA would like to thank Deutsche Bank for its leadership in committing to the #BackBlue Ocean Finance Commitment including doing the hard work of implementing it through their internal systems. We look forward to continuing to work with the Deutsche Bank team to accelerate ORRAA’s goal to drive at least USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean regeneration through finance and insurance products and, in so doing, building the resilience of at least 250 million climate vulnerable coastal people in the Global South by 2030. 

“We invite other banks and insurers to join this crucial commitment and invest in blue nature to build resilience to climate change and combat the biodiversity crisis.”

Those companies which join #BackBlue commit to ensuring a blue lens is applied to investment decision-making by:

  • Setting robust Net Zero commitments by joining a UN Race to Zero Financial Initiative and by adopting science-based targets to reach Net Zero no later than 2050 in line with their criteria. This includes aligning investments with the UN-convened Net Zero Asset Owner Alliance’s target setting protocol.
  • Driving financial system policy change by adopting corporate Environmental, Social and Governance standards and disclosures that align with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and adopting taxonomies on sustainable economic activities that define common and clear criteria for classifying projects and investments as sustainable.
  • Investing in nature-positive outcomes for the ocean, based on the UNEP FI Sustainable Blue Economy Finance Principles, that drive investment into coastal and marine nature which halts biodiversity loss and sustains and builds the benefits that these ecosystems provide, while preserving and improving livelihoods.
  • Accelerating the transition towards a healthy and sustainable Ocean through lending, investment and insurance practices that mitigate ocean risk and build the resilience of climate vulnerable coastal communities; and by supporting work to raise an initial USD$500 million of investment into coastal nature by 2030 with the aim of creating scalable and investable finance and insurance projects and products.
  • Joining ORRAA so that together the challenges posed by ocean risk can be met by pioneering new and innovative finance products that focus on driving investment into ocean and coastal natural capital which reduce risk and build a sustainable, equitable, resilient ocean and regenerate its biodiversity.

The #BackBlue Ocean Finance Commitment has been backed by the Race to Resilience, the World Economic Forum‘s Friends of Ocean Action, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI).