Queen Máxima to deliver opening speech online at EU Sustainable Investment Summit

On the morning of Thursday 7 October Her Majesty Queen Máxima will be delivering an online speech at the opening of the EU Sustainable Investment Summit ‘Make it Sustainable: Investing Together in our Future’. The summit is the first European Commission plenary meeting to be held on the theme of sustainable investment since the launch of the European Green Deal in 2019, which set the objective of making Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Queen Máxima will be speaking in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. 

The aim of the meeting is to raise awareness of this campaign and to offer new prospects for a climate-neutral Europe. A range of speakers, including policymakers, entrepreneurs, investors and representatives of financial institutions and civil society organisations will draw on their various areas of expertise to discuss opportunities and forms of innovative investment that can help achieve this objective. 

In her speech, Queen Máxima will address the importance of good access to and secure use of financial services in the context of climate change. In 2015 financial inclusion was enshrined in 7 of the 17 UN Sustainability Goals, not as a goal in itself but as an instrument for achieving them. According to the World Bank Group, the same disadvantaged groups that are unable to access financial services are in many cases also the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. When extreme weather conditions destroy a harvest or lead to the loss of personal possessions, these groups have no financial buffer to fall back on. Women, smallholder farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the worst affected. Access to financial services such as a savings account or insurance policy will help make these people more resilient and prevent them sliding back into poverty. Targeted loans can also help smallholder farmers invest in crops that are more resilient to climate change. 

Queen Máxima has spoken about financial services and climate change on a number of previous occasions, including at the UN General Assembly in New York in 2015 and the Adaptation Futures climate change conference held in Rotterdam on 11 May 2016.