World Ocean Summit

The 2024 Economist Impact World Ocean Summit

Our CIO for ESG, Markus Müller, addressed some of the world's leading ocean thinkers, investors and advocates at this event in Lisbon designed to drive progress towards a sustainable blue economy.

Finance has a vital role to play in accelerating and promoting ocean health. At the 2024 Economist Impact World Ocean Summit in Lisbon, Deutsche Bank’s Markus Müller helped lead the conversation about how our sector can become more action-oriented and change the relationship between finance and the ocean.

Now in its 11th year, the event was attended by over 1,000 delegates from the private, public and third sectors. It was hosted by Economist Impact, a part of the Economist Group that partners with governments, non-profits and corporations to deliver positive societal change. Addressing the broader conference, Müller explained how financial systems need to adjust so that the ocean’s health is factored into balance sheets (to watch a video recording of this session on an external website, please click here).


At a later break-out session, Müller was also joined by academics, business leaders, and representatives from NGOs to talk about the metrics that are needed for companies to measure and account for their environmental impact. One of the other panellists in this "how-to workshop" was Karen Sack, Executive Director of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance, for whom Deutsche Bank is proud to act as Global Lead Banking partner. 


Participants noted that nature-related risks need to be recognised as a material financial risk, providing an incentive for companies and investors to adopt practices that promote ocean health. They said that metrics factoring in the impact of their activities on key matters including biodiversity and carbon output need to become a part of regulatory frameworks. Critically, they also agreed that science, finance, and government policy need to come together in order maximise the benefits for the ocean’s ecosystem – and the humans and businesses that depend on it.



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Karen Sack and Markus Müller discuss why the fate of the ocean and the fates of businesses are intertwined – and how taking stock of the natural world will bring about a better future for both.


“A key takeaway for me was the urgent need to shift our perspective,” Müller said while summarising the positive impact of the event. “We can no longer view the ocean as separate from the economy. A healthy ocean is the foundation for a thriving global economy.”


Sack said that it had been an opportunity to “spend time focusing on financing a regenerative and sustainable Ocean and blue economy." Both she and Müller took the opportunity to discuss what they felt the event had highlighted and achieved in a series of videos, and you can see the first of these in the player window above.


Deutsche Bank has partnered with ORRAA since 2021 with the aim of encouraging global action and private finance to invest in the natural capital of the ocean. Find out more here.

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