Financing an Inclusive and Just Transition to a Net Zero Economy

Date: 3 Jul 2019 1:00 pm — 3:00 pm
Venue: SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance, SOAS University of London, Alumni Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing, London WC1H 0XG

How can finance accelerate positive change on climate action in the real economy?

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The transition to a low-carbon and resilient society will deliver net benefits to economies and society. However, if its social aspects and equity impacts are not well managed, it risks stranding communities and leaving people behind. This could slow the rate of change and disrupt societies.

Public and private finance are required for the transition to a resilient net zero society and economy, and as part of this private firms will play a crucial role in delivering investment and infrastructure for a decarbonized world. However, the link between alignment of finance flows with the Paris Agreement and the real economy is not yet well explored. It must play an important role through engagement, capital allocation and policy support. Campaigns to divest from fossil fuel companies are well established and yielding results but are not yet addressing the role of investors in the just transition processes that should follow divestments. Meanwhile, society is only beginning to appreciate the social and political impacts that could result from a shift of financial flows away from places exposed to physical climate risk.

The conversation about opportunities and challenges of investing in resilient net zero, including in socio-economically weak regions, needs to start now, to build trust and leverage investment opportunities.

At the occasion of the first London Climate Action Week, E3G, the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance and the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute would like to invite experts in business, finance, just transition, energy transition, resilience, organized labour and geopolitics to a workshop to lead off this conversation.

With this workshop we would like to support;

– Building a broad coalition around Just Transition and finance (business, finance, unions, civil society, government, academia)

– Better understanding of the interlinkages between aligning finance flows and just transition processes (and linked opportunities)

– Raising awareness of the significance of finance and the just transition for both local and international challenges of climate change

– Building a narrative for the feasibility of ambitious Just Transition processes


13:00 – 13:10

Role of public finance and financial regulation for a Resilient Just Transition
Kate Levick, Head of Sustainable Finance, E3G


Role of private finance for a Just Transition
Nick Robins, Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE


Climate change and the perpetuation of global inequality – how to break the vicious circle? Ulrich Volz, Founding Director, SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance, SOAS University of London

13:30 –14:10

Regional transition challenges – how to attract low carbon investments?


  • Aleksandra Tomzcak, Policy Coordinator, Directorate General for Energy, European Commission & Coordinator, European Commission Coal Regions in Transition Platform
  • Agata Kuzminska, Just Transition Local Activist, Greater Poland Region
  • Rei Tang, Climate Change Program Officer, Stanley Foundation
  • James Diggle, Head of Energy and Climate Change, Confederation of British Industry

Moderated by Emily Hickson, Cause Strategist – Net Zero by 2050, The B Team

14:10 – 14:50

Role of finance in (re)investing in carbon intensive regions


  • Michael Wilkins, Head of Sustainable Finance, S&P Global Ratings
  • Alex Doyle, Head of International Green Finance, BEIS
  • Bettina Reinboth, Head of Social Issues, PRI
  • Ed Wells, Head of Global Markets Policy, HSBC

Moderated by Emily Hickson, Cause Strategist – Net Zero by 2050, The B Team


Closing remarks
Nick Robins, Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance
Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE


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