The Green Horizon Summit – The pivotal role of finance

by | Nov 9, 2020

This month was meant to mark the start of the COP26 summit.

World leaders had been expected to gather here in the UK to agree the next critical stage in the global response to the climate crisis. Nearly 200 countries would have been represented at the most important climate change event since the COP21 summit held in Paris in 2015.

As we know, things have taken a different turn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While COP26 will now take place in Glasgow in a year’s time, the pandemic does not make the urgency of addressing climate change any less critical, or its potential impact less catastrophic.

If anything, 2020 has shown the necessity to focus on resilience and sustainability. Any recovery must address the structural challenges facing our global economy, as well as speed the transition to a net zero world. We must increase the pace and scale of our efforts.

Finance is crucial to any ambitions of a green recovery.

It is needed to invest in the clean technologies that will decarbonise our transport systems, our Built Environment and our energy sector.

It is needed to invest in the strengthening of our food system, the health of our ecosystem as well as the green and blue solutions needed for climate mitigation and adaptation.

It is needed to invest in the sustainable infrastructure that future generations will rely upon, as well as create the jobs which are needed now.

Much progress has been made in the past five years but, to mobilise capital at the scale required, we need leaders in finance, politics and industry to work together. That is why the City of London Corporation and the Green Finance Institute, supported by the World Economic Forum, have partnered to hold the Green Horizon Summit.

Over three days, we will host more than 100 global policy and industry leaders, including key representatives from national governments and multilateral financial institutions, to find the solutions which can overcome barriers to green investment.

At the Green Horizon Summit, Mark Carney, the UK COP26 Advisor and UN Special Envoy, will publish the comprehensive Private Finance Strategy, which builds the framework that means every financial decision can take climate change into account.

Leading figures from the UK taking part include HRH the Prince of Wales, senior Cabinet ministers, the Governor of the Bank of England, the First Minister of Scotland and a host of FTSE-100 Chief Executives.

From the US, Larry Fink, Chief Executive of Blackrock, alongside Michael Bloomberg and Bill Gates will join the debate. Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, the Managing Director of the IMF and the Secretary General of the United Nations will also be speaking.

We know from our own mission-led coalitions at the Green Finance Institute that the power of convening lies in the real economy solutions which emerge. Expect this Summit to be no different.

There will be a focus on action and practical measures which apply across sectors such as energy, transport, the Built Environment and Nature, solutions relevant for both developed and developing economies.

We need to develop standards and metrics which provide transparent financial disclosures, as well as create new markets and investment opportunities.

We do not have the luxury of time nor of working in isolation. Science tells us that this coming decade is critical. Emissions must reduce to half of 2010 levels by 2030.

The Green Horizon Summit is a vital step in ensuring we meet the climate challenge while also addressing a Post-COVID global recovery; that is why supporting the scaling of green finance is so important.

At the Green Finance Institute, we are playing our role in developing practical solutions, financial innovation and collaboration to mobilise finance. We encourage everyone who recognises the urgency of the climate crisis to join us.