July 1 - 8 is London Climate Action Week. The whole of this period is crammed full of events drawing attention to the issues around the climate emergency. The events range from exhibitions to visits from citizen assemblies to formal meetings. Topics range from food, energy, climate, infrastructure, forests, coal, civil disobedience, resilience, commodities, water, justice, risk, health and carbon. There is something for everyone's taste and understanding and a lot of challenging and informative events. Many of these events are free to attend and are certainly going to dominate the London scene and chatter over the next week and beyond.
My particular interest is in Green Finance and how the City of London's capital and financial markets can assist in creating the transition to a low carbon economy and to assist in moving towards the net zero UK carbon emissions by 2050, a target that has been set by the Prime Minister, Mrs Theresa May. The City of London Corporation is hosting the Green Finance Summit 2019 in the Guildhall on 2nd July. The topic is Investing in Actions. A wide array of high level speakers including leading politicians and Ministers, academics and business men and women will be presenting a challenging series of debates and discussions.
There will also be the launch of the Green Finance Institute of which I am a Director. We have appointed our CEO who is Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas and she will be speaking at the event and setting out the direction of the Institute. The Institute is jointly funded by the City Corporation and HM Government and will champion sustainable finance in the UK and abroad. It will It will look to accelerate the greening of the global financial system and enhance London’s position as a world leader in this field by bringing together the private and public sector. In a first for the sector, the Institute will mobilise green finance missions to accelerate sector-specific transitions to a low-carbon future. These missions will draw on actors across the green finance landscape – from government to finance and industry. Rhian-Mari has said:
"The science is clear, we need to act urgently to build a resilient and low carbon economy. To do so, will require new forms of cross-sector collaboration, the removal of barriers to investment and ultimately the re-directing of more private capital towards climate change mitigation and resilience projects and strategies. The new Green Finance Institute, with support from the City of London Corporation and Government, is uniquely placed to foster the partnerships that will lead to the creativity, innovation and commitment needed to unlock the opportunities from the emerging green economy. It is an honour to become the first CEO of such a timely and significant initiative."