With the consequences of the climate crisis becoming increasingly visible, urgent action is needed to ensure a healthy planet for the future. Investment in climate mitigation and adaptation – or ‘climate finance’ – will be required if the action is to truly make a difference. This will be a key theme underpinning discussions among global leaders attending COP 28. Climate finance has huge potential, but it represents a departure from traditional approaches to investment. We need a new approach to how we invest our money, supporting more sustainable business models and implementing net-zero solutions.
With so much jargon associated with this topic, how can we assess the impact of investments and prevent greenwashing? How can businesses lead the way and encourage others to follow? And, in an uncertain world, how can we incentivise investors to value long-term benefits to the environment as highly as short-term return on investment?
In this episode, we’ll be looking at the most effective ways to invest in decarbonisation and the role we can all play in investing in a more sustainable future, from individuals to businesses and key finance players. Our expert panel will explore the strategies and outcomes that could pave the way to decarbonisation on a global scale.
On the panel:
Divyata Ashiya – Divyata is a Partner at Just Transition Capital, a private investment firm focused on innovation in energy and decarbonisation. She is actively involved in initiatives in the domains of energy transition and impact across investment with mobilising large-scale capital on critical projects in both developing/developed markets. Divyata is a Trustee of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), the pre-eminent security and geopolitical think-tank, where she takes a particular interest and focus on energy and resource security related issues. She is a Founder and Trustee of Plaksha University in India, which is reimagining world-class higher education in Engineering and Science and developing critical partnerships with some of the world’s leading academic institutions. Divyata has a BA from Amherst College and an MBA from INSEAD. She is a Fellow of the Aspen Institute in the UK.
Professor Gbenga Ibikunle – Gbenga is a Professor and Chair of Finance at the University of Edinburgh. He is also the Founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Financial Innovations, and Co-Director of the NatWest Group-funded Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking. Gbenga is a financial economist with a core research focus on the microstructure of financial instruments and markets (including environmental and energy markets and instruments). His current research situates at the intersection of the economics of financial markets and data science, with applications to practice and policy. Gbenga’s research has been published by entities such as the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority and in leading international academic journals, including Journal of Financial Markets and the British Accounting Review.
Dr Liz Wildman – Liz is the Global Public Affairs Director for Climate and Circularity at Mars Wrigley. She leads the global advocacy agenda on packaging sustainability and climate and works closely with colleagues based in the markets to support discussions with regulators, policymakers, trade associations, industry coalitions and NGOs. Her first role in sustainability was within the Mars Petcare UK corporate affairs team, where she managed external partnerships, internal engagement, advocacy, and reputation and, previous to this, she held roles in product innovation and R&D. Liz started her career in academia and holds a PhD in inorganic chemistry from the University of Manchester, where her research was focused on the fundamental chemistry of metals used in the nuclear fuel cycle.
Maria Lombardo – Maria is the Head of Global ESG Advisory team Sustainable Finance at Standard Chartered Bank. In this role, she supports the bank’s clients in their sustainability and transition strategies. Maria spent more than 25 years in investment banking as Managing Director, heading emerging market equities sales at Lazard, UBS, Sberbank and Unicredit. She moved into sustainability in 2016 when she joined the non-profit CDP as head of their financial investor members. She then headed the ESG Client strategies and climate change strategies at Invesco Global Asset Management in EMEA, leading the growth of sustainability investment solutions and the set-up of the global asset manager’s climate strategy. Maria holds a CFA ESG, a diploma at Cambridge University Sustainability Leadership Institute, along with a CEMS Master and a bachelor’s degree in financial intermediaries at Bocconi University. Maria is a member of the CFA UK Climate and Investing committee, she is a mentor of the acceleration program at the Cambridge Institute of Sustainability Leadership.
Neal Kemkar – Neal is the Senior Vice President of Policy at Galvanise Climate Solutions. Neal has spent his career as a lawyer and policy advisor focused on climate action. Before joining Galvanize, Neal was at General Electric, advising the full portfolio of GE business units on climate policy risks and opportunities. Prior to joining GE, Neal held climate and energy policy roles in the Obama Administration, with the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Secretary of the Interior, and in the Colorado Governor’s Energy Office. He is currently a fellow of the Aspen Institute in the US and the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.