Key speakers were Ben Caldecott, founding director of the Oxford Sustainability Finance Programme at Oxford University, Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, global head of ESG research at Allianz Global Investors and Brian Scott-Quinn, emeritus professor at Henley’s ICMA Centre.
The discussion focused on the Green New Deal where it is being taken very seriously in the US, with three potential presidential candidates having signed up. In Europe, the EU is working on its Sustainable Finance Plan, while in the UK the CBI has been calling for action on the UK’s Sustainable Development Goals and DEFRA is consulting on waste. Meanwhile, there remains pressure on fossil fuel providers: HSBC is under pressure to remove its funding of coal projects, and at the recent International Petroleum Week in London, the focus was on cutting emissions. Meanwhile the mining industry in Australia took a hit when the courts blocked the development of the Rocky Hill thermal coal project on the grounds of its potential contribution to climate change. The key takeaway from the event, is that sustainable finance space is growing by the day, and has undoubtedly moved into the mainstream.