Image © Panel 8 Photography
The Society hosted policymakers, researchers and professionals from across the environment, finance, innovation, and sustainability sectors earlier this month, to explore investment solutions to the challenge of financing net-zero.
Framed by cutting-edge geographical research being undertaken by the REINVENT project, which examines the possibilities for decarbonisation across entire value chains in the meat/dairy, paper, plastic and steel sectors, the event reflected on the ways in which carbon is deeply structured into economies of all kinds and imagined what a ‘radical shift’ in investment and finance solutions for deep decarbonisation might look like, both in the UK and globally.
A range of expert speakers (see below) discussed the tensions and opportunities in ‘financing green’ and ‘greening finance’ and highlighted the challenges in overcoming siloes between the environmental, social and governance dimensions of a just transition to a net-zero economy.
The Society’s Professional and Policy Manager, Dr Stephanie Wyse, said “We were delighted to host this forum, where a geographical perspective brought a new lens to the challenges of financing net-zero. Finance and investment professionals, policymakers and researchers at the event expressed a shared will and ambition for addressing these challenges, recognising the huge potential returns if the necessary scale of response can be catalysed.”
The event was convened and chaired by Professor Harriet Bulkeley (University of Durham/Utrecht University) as part of the Society’s Environment and Society Forum event series.
Speakers during the event:
Organisers' introduction: Harriet Bulkeley, University of Durham/Utrecht University; Lars Nilsson, Lund University; Andries Hof, PBL The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
Josué Tanaka, Managing Director Operational Strategy and Planning, EBRD
Ray Dhirani, Head: Sustainable Finance, WWF UK
Panel: Financing Green
Chaired by: Sarah Knuth, Durham University
What is the progress being made to finance green innovations and transitions that can help meet the UK’s net-zero target?
Sofiane Belmiloud, Investor Outreach Manager, FAIRR Initiative
Bregje van Veelen, Research Associate REINVENT, Durham University
Sarah Colenbrander, Head Of The Global Programme, Coalition For Urban Transitions, World Resources Institute
Panel: Greening Finance
Chaired by: Gavin Bridge, Durham University
What is the potential for greening the finance sector, and how can such dynamics help to contribute to a just transition towards a net-zero economy in the UK and beyond?
Sarah Kemmitt, Manager, Major UK Banks Supervision, Bank of England
Simon Messenger, France and UK Director, 2 Degrees Investing Initiative
Will Irwin, Policy Analyst Sustainable Finance, London School of Economics
Andy Gouldson, Leeds University
Karen Lai, Durham University
Lars Nilsson, Lund University