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Press release August 26, 2021

EKN and SEK establish a Scientific Climate Council

The Scientific Climate Council, a group of academic experts, will provide advisory support to EKN and SEK to assist aligning the Swedish export finance system with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C goal. The climate council is the first of its kind in the world and will focus on issues such as the role of natural gas for the energy transition in low- and middle-income countries.

In 2020, EKN (Swedish Export Credit Agency) and SEK (Swedish Export Credit Corporation) were tasked by the government with investigating how the Swedish export finance system can contribute to the global climate transition. EKN and SEK have jointly formed the Scientific Climate Council to offer scientifically based solutions to these challenges.

“Swedish companies hold a prominent position in meeting global demand for technology that enables a sustainable use of resources. For many years, the Swedish export credit system has made long-term contributions to the competitiveness of Swedish companies. The aim of the scientific climate council is to strengthen our important work to support the climate transition of Swedish export companies and their customers”.

Magnus Montan, CEO of SEK

EKN’s and SEK’s climate transition efforts are at the forefront from a global perspective. Stringent requirements are set for projects that receive guarantees and credits and the Swedish export finance system was one of the first to cease export financing the extraction and transportation of coal. EKN and SEK also work to promote international consensus and regulations aligned with the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“The world needs a quick transition. At the same time, low- and middle-income countries need to develop their energy supplies and infrastructure to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. For us as financial institutions, this naturally entails the management of complex topics. As such, it is important that we base our strategic decisions on current science, in addition to the dialogues we already have with companies, banks and civil-society organisations”.

Anna-Karin Jatko, Director General of EKN

Tasks of the scientific climate council

The climate council’s work focuses on the impact that export finance has on global GHG emissions. Moreover, the climate council is a vital knowledge resource and a discussion partner for EKN and SEK concerning fundamental strategic policy positions. The council has no operational role in individual business transactions.

Examples of topics that could be addressed in the climate council include how commitments of countries and companies are updated and how the IPCC’s reports should impact the direction of both Swedish and international export finance systems. Another example is the role of natural gas for the energy transition in low- and middle-income countries.

Scientists in the climate council

  • Måns Nilsson, Executive Director at SEI and Adjunct Professor in Environmental Strategies Research at the Royal Institute of Technology
  • Max Åhman, Associate Professor in Environmental and Energy Systems studies at Lund University
  • Tomas Kåberger, Professor at Chalmers and former Director General of Swedish Energy Agency
  • Anna Krook-Riekkola, Associate Professor in Energy Science at Luleå University of Technology

About the Swedish Export Credit Agency

EKN is a state authority with the task of promoting exports and developing the internationalisation of Swedish business and industry. We insure payments and share risk with exporting companies and banks. These activities are financed with the premiums paid by insurance holders.

About the Swedish Export Credit Corporation

The Swedish Export Credit Corporation (SEK) is a state-owned company that finances Swedish exporters, their suppliers and international buyers of Swedish products and services. Financing enables the companies to grow, and creates employment and sustainable growth.


  1. Assignment description for the Scientific Climate Council

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