Key speakers were Ben Caldecott, founding director of the Oxford Sustainability Finance Programme at Oxford University, Veronica Poole, the Global IFRS Leader and UK National Head of Accounting and Corporate Reporting at Deloitte and Fong Yee Chan, the Senior Product Manager for Sustainable Investment at FTSE Russell.
The discussion was prompted by a critical warning from the International Energy Agency (IEA) that ‘the world is moving in the opposite direction to the Paris climate pact goals, with investment in renewable energy falling… and spending on fossil fuel extraction rising’. This month’s CDP report has shown that 215 biggest global companies are $1 trillion at risk from climate impacts in the next five years, partly due to stranded assets. However, increasingly investors and businesses are becoming aware of the issue and are using finance as a key lever to influence sustainable outcomes. M&A in the ESG arena is booming and sustainable brands like Beyond Meat, whose stock surged after its IPO, are thriving. Meanwhile, the UK government has been taking sustainable finance seriously with an inquiry into the decarbonisation of the UK economy and green finance, and the formation of the Impact Investing Institute.
The key takeaway from the event was that businesses and governments are opening their eyes to sustainable finance and the ESG is coming into the mainstream.
Sapience Communications is delighted to sponsor CSFI’s fintech breakfasts and we look forward to attending the next session on 13th June, Brussels for Breakfast.