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DNB's Braathen denies 'greenwashing' claim over continued 'brown' ship finance – TradeWinds

Norway’s leading ship financier has denied it is involved in “greenwashing”.

Kjerstin Braathen, chief executive of DNB, was asked at the Nor-Shipping Ocean Leadership Conference whether there is a contradiction in touting green funding initiatives while continuing to finance deepsea shipping and oil and gas.

“I think financing oil and gas and green initiatives, doing both, is responsible and sustainable,” she responded.

Referring to the invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent questions over Russian energy supplies, Braathen added: “Look at the immediate crisis that is spiking when we’re turning off parts of the gas supply.

“We have to make that bridge. At DNB we are very clear that we will continue to finance oil and gas, we will continue to finance the shipping industry.

“But we will work with the industry to make that bridge happen, to reduce emissions, while at the same time also financing new solutions, scaling the industries that we need to scale.

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“Not all financing is green. I don’t believe in dividing the world fully into green and brown.

“We are now talking about reopening coal because we need to bridge over to a sustainable world. A shipping company will not be green in five years if you are doing a lot of deepsea shipping.

“We have some challenges to solve. The companies that are in the forefront and invest in new technology will be able to get more attractive and better financing, and others may not in the future.”

Braathen said the bank is setting aside NOK 15bn ($1.72bn) for sustainable financing initiatives to 2030.

Referring again to the question of “greenwashing”, she added: “Often we talk about the marketing effect. If you’re marketing a green loan, it needs to be proven green.”

For Braathen, the question is all about access to capital.

DNB’s number one rule is for companies to have a clear view of where they want to go in making their business a sustainable one.

The chief executive said it is clear that shipping has to be zero-carbon by 2050, so she advised owners to consider where they want to be in 2030 or 2035 on the road to that goal.

Follow all of TradeWinds’ coverage from Nor-Shipping here.

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