GFI/Pollination Lunch & Learn Series

by | Jun 17, 2021

15 June 2021

Day 1 of Pollination and the Green Finance Institute’s (GFI) Natural Capital Webinar Series, moderated by Alastair Marsh of Bloomberg News.

Pollination and the Green Finance Institute (GFI) are delighted to have launched their webinar series yesterday, kicking off with a practitioner’s discussion and Q&A on how to accurately measure and incorporate nature-related risk into financial investment decision-making. The recent launch of the new Taskforce for Nature-related Financial Disclosures, aiming to help financial institutions to shift finance from nature-negative activities toward nature- positive outcomes, made this topic particularly pertinent.

The panel was chaired on behalf of Pollination and the GFI by distinguished Bloomberg journalist Alastair Marsh, and comprised practitioners from across the financial spectrum, who each use different tools to measure and disclose on risk, on behalf of their organisations. Featuring were: Katie Leach, sharing her expertise as lead for the UNEP-WCMC’s work on the ENCORE tool, a web-based natural capital risk and opportunity measurement tool; Roel Nozeman, providing insights from his role as Chair of the Partnership for Biodiversity Accounting Financials and Senior Biodiversity Advisor at ASN Bank; Yasmina Elshafei, who gave an overview on Pollination’s own upstream biodiversity Impact Condition (known as I-Con) Assessment tool; and Robert-Alexandre Poujarde, an ESG Analyst and biodiversity lead at BNP Paribas Asset Management, who described his work with the Trase and ENCORE tools, as well as utilising the Capitals Coalition’s natural capital framework.

The webinar was aimed at those who are seeking to understand not the ‘why’, but the ‘how’, of assessing and measuring nature-related dependencies and impacts and the webinar concluded with the panel sharing their views on what ‘best practice’ looks like. Following the launch of the TNFD, Pollination and the GFI hope the insights shared will increase financial institutions’ understanding and encourage uptake in measurement of nature-related risks in investment decision-making.

16 June 2021

Day 2 of Pollination and the Green Finance Institute’s (GFI) Natural Capital Webinar Series, moderated by Martin Berg of Climate Asset Management.

Following Day 1’s discussion on measurement of nature-related risks, Day 2 of Pollination and the GFI’s Natural Capital ‘Lunch & Learn’ series saw Martin Berg of Climate Asset Management host existing members of the Natural Capital Investment Alliance with an additional guest from International Federated Hermes.

Day 2’s topics for discussion focused on best practices, action, and emerging ideas on how to protect our natural capital and invest and finance nature-positive outcomes. The panel consisted of: Eoin Murray, Head of Investment at International Federated Hermes, who outlined the firm’s stewardship around biodiversity in its investment portfolios; Alina Donets, Lead Portfolio Manager for Lombard Odier who discussed the merits of investment in liquid natural capital assets; and impact investor Gautier Quéru from Mirova’s Land Degradation Neutrality Fund, who explained how investment In natural capital can be akin to infrastructure investment in real assets.

The audience drove the discussion with some challenging questions for the panel. Questions posed included queries around nature-based capture of carbon as a revenue stream, as well as the barriers that could hinder investment opportunities. Following Day 1’s discussion on risk, we hope that Day 2’s panel were able to demonstrate to viewers that nature-based opportunities are already available and that the work of the Natural Capital Investment Alliance will catalyse further investment in natural capital

17 June 2021

Day 3 of Pollination and the Green Finance Institute’s (GFI) Natural Capital Webinar Series, moderated by Helen Avery of the Green Finance Institute. 

Following Day 1’s discussion on measurement of nature-related risks, and Day 2’s panel on large scale investment into nature, Day 3 of Pollination and the GFI’s Natural Capital ‘Lunch & Learn’ series saw Helen Avery, head of nature programmes at the Institute host a session on how the public sector could help mobilise investments in nature.  She was joined by Elvira Lefting, Managing Director, Finance in Motion; Radha Kuppalli, Managing Director, New Forests; James Mansfield, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Finance Earth and Dr Gemma Bone Dodds, Director of Insights and Policy at the Scottish National Investment Bank.

Day 3’s topics for discussion focused on: whether blended finance is working; the challenges around public sector support; and the innovations in the blended finance space. An audience poll showed that 82% were confident that blended finance could help develop private investment in nature.

Some of the challenges around blended finance, however, mentioned by panellists were:

  • Restrictive remits for fund use from funders including geographical restrictions, and onerous due diligence on project managers
  • The lack of risk appetite from public funders (who tend to seek risk-adjusted returns)
  • The need to consider policy and regulatory changes as a means to drive private investment and not solely capital support
  • Similarly, a need to fund knowledge sharing and upskill projects in addition to the funding of technical assistance

Panellists also discussed the need for greater data and standards around impact management in order to develop nature-based markets driven by audience questions around the practicalities of developing blended finance projects. Dr Gemma Bone Dodds pointed out the importance of understanding that nature, climate and society should be deemed as interconnected – thereby encouraging governments to not view nature as a niche.  We hope that Day 3’s panel was able to provide ideas to both the public and private sector on how to move nature-based investing forward in order to meet global nature-positive goals.