Marija Pujo Tadić, President of the International Institute for Climate Action (IICA), had the honour and privilege of moderating the ESG panel at the NATO Industry Form in Stockholm (Sweden) on October 24 and 25, 2023. She discussed her experience and impressions in an interview for the Wish.hr portal, which can be found at this link.
The interview is presented below.
Marija Pujo Tadić is a climate change leader and Croatian spokesperson who has conquered the entire world with her strength and outstanding results
We finally found an opportunity to speak with our first and only climate leader, who is a “pioneer” in the subject of climate change and policy in the Republic of Croatia.
Marija Pujo Tadić is a global expert in climate law and politics, as well as an ESG, Climate Leader, President of the International Institute for Climate Action (IICA), and European Commission Ambassador for the European Climate Pact.
The conversation was a major success not only for her personally, but also for Croatian climate diplomacy, because she was recently picked as an expert to chair a panel at the large NATO Conference – the NATO Alliance is the world’s strongest international defence organisation.
The NATO Industry Forum, organised jointly by NATO’s Allied Command Transformation (ACT) and the Department of Defence Investments, hosted 800 participants and more than 235 industry leaders on October 24 and 25 in Stockholm, Sweden, with the goal of encouraging an open dialogue with industry for the purpose of innovation and capability development within NATO. “Together facing the new strategic reality” was the topic for 2023.
W: Tell us, Mrs. Pujo Tadić, what the word NATO has to do with this green and climate issue? NATO is, after all, the strongest worldwide defence and security alliance.
First and first, thank you for inviting me to the interview. As you may have noticed, climate policies are slowly permeating all levels of society, both global, European, and even national, but they are also recently permeating all sectors through ESG, the business community and the financial sector are also involved in the Green Agenda and are attempting to keep up with all the changes that await them.
The NATO alliance also supports the substantial defence sector and corporations involved in weapon manufacture, with which it has a strong connection and without which NATO would be unable to function.
This unavoidably poses several key problems, not the least of which is how the defence industry should adjust to maintain a sustainable influx of capital and access to services in a financial landscape that is becoming more conscious of ESG.
What can the middle ground look like, when ESG criteria are addressed without jeopardising the armed services’ defence capabilities and operational readiness?
W: What role would NATO, governments, and industry play? Who all took part in the panel you moderated?
It was a pleasure and an honour to moderate a major ESG panel at NIF23, and to debate the implications of ESG for the defence sector and to explore areas of mutual interest, and I’d like to thank a great team of remarkable people and good panellists: Hortense Bioy, CFA BIOY, Global Director sustainability research, Morningstar; Raffaella Luglini, Head of Sustainability, Leonardo; Kris PEETERS, Vice President, European Investment Bank (EIB); Jan Pie Secretary General of the Association of the European Aerospace, Security and Defense Industry (ASD) and board member of ICCAIA – International Coordination Council of Aviation Industry Associations; Rudy PRIEM, Chairman of the NATO Industrial Advisory Group (NIAG) and member of the International Government Relations team at RTX.
Thanks to the entire hashtag#NATO and hashtag#OTAN team headed by Jens Stoltenberg and Philippe Lavigne for the excellent cooperation: Lazar Liviu, Dr. Vlasta Zekulić, Petra Furdek, Oana Lungescu Bob Bowman and Yes….”We can – We will” – TOGETHER!
W: What conclusions did you make from the preceding questions?
The panel discussion was outstanding since attendees were able to hear precise responses to the topics that were presented, and the conclusions that emerged are incredibly valuable for the entire industry.
First and foremost, it was determined that the method by which ESG results are computed should be harmonised, and that measurable criteria are required.
Financial actors, governments, NATO, and the defence sector should restart the discourse in order to find a solution to the difficulties of sustainable finance and transatlantic security.
In principle, the entire community, including NIAG (members of NATO’s industrial advisory group) and ICCAIA (international coordinating body and aviation industry association), which includes over 5,000 companies, is prepared to respond to this challenge with all stakeholders, including policy and decision makers, civil society, non-governmental organisations, financial services, and academic institutions.
Participants also immediately determined that those who take the lead in ESG, regardless of industry, will outperform competitors, position themselves as market drivers, and create new value for stakeholders.
W: Given your experience in this field, might they rely on you to assist them with this transition?
Certainly, given that our International Institute for Climate Action (IICA) was founded 12 years ago and we are the first in the Republic of Croatia, but also in the entire region, to focus exclusively on climate law and policies, we are a kind of HUB of climate policies and experts who participate in it, and we were also the first to start educating in the field of ESG 3 years ago, and thanks to our international partners, we started with the first international education in the field of ESG for the business and financial sector.
Governments from other nations frequently request us to collaborate, but we are especially pleased to be recognised by NATO, the world’s strongest international defence alliance, which includes 31 countries (now including the newly arriving Finland).
W: What are your plans for the future, considering that you are being “crucified” all over the world as a result of this now-more-than-current topic?
The most important thing for me personally is to represent the Republic of Croatia well at COP28 – the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Conference on Climate Change, which will be held this year in the period from November 30 until December 12th in Dubai – UAE, where I am a member of the Republic of Croatia’s official delegation at the negotiations.
The preparations lasted a whole year, and I believe that our entire team is ready for new challenges, which makes me happy. My favourite thing is when everything I do is visible and associated with our beautiful homeland, because then all my work and sacrifice takes on even greater and more significant meaning.
In terms of our International Institute for Climate Action (IICA), we will continue to encourage companies and the financial sector to become more involved in climate policies and a faster transition to a low-carbon sustainable economy, in particular by sharing “first-hand” information with companies in our membership that are already leaders in the green transition and have a certain reputation in this regard.
W: Do you have any closing remarks?
My message would be the same as that of the entire NATO forum, which is also the motto of our IICA: “We can and will, TOGETHER” – only together can we deal with the repercussions of climate change, and that is why I invite everyone to be engaged, everyone with even a small contribution.