Financing the Sustainable Cities of the Future: What will it take to get there?

Trillions of dollars will be required in this decade to support cities build the low-emissions, resilient infrastructure necessary to mitigate climate change. However, cities face major capacity constraints in preparing and financing climate change mitigation and adaptation projects. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, subnational governments struggled to access climate finance to promote the needed green transition at the local level. Over the past two years, as the pandemic has spread across the world, we have seen cities’ fiscal health and capacity being even further tested.

At this event, the Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance, C40 Cities Finance Facility, GIZ, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, and the World Climate Foundation will showcase innovative solutions on how to best leverage public and private finance to unlock the trillions of financing needed over the next decade for low-carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure in cities. This event will bring together the main market players in city-level climate finance to:

  • Examine the major challenges cities face when seeking to finance climate mitigation and adaptation activities, and what has changed in the context of COVID-19
  • Discuss how to involve all relevant actors, raise ambition, and close the financing gap between the supply and demand sides of climate finance for cities
  • Analyze how national governments and the climate negotiations influence the increase of city level climate finance

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Councillor Richard Bell, City of Glasgow, UK
  • Barbara Buchner, Global Managing Director of Climate Policy Initiative (Alliance Secretariat)
  • Heike Henn, Director, BMZ
  • Maryke van Staden, ICLEI, Director of Business Development and Low Emission Pathway


Not just for a rainy day: How to green your finance

Ever wondered what happens to your money when you’re not looking? (Spoiler, there’s a lot going on). Join our panellists as we demystify the often-baffling world of finance. Over the session, you’ll learn how to take control of your savings, pensions and banking and ensure that they’re working to create a greener, healthier and happier world.


OwnIt: Empowering women to use their money for the climate Partner organisations: Friends of the Earth, Enrol Yourself, Ethex and Energise Africa

The need for change in the finance sector has never been greater. It’s estimated that between $1.6 – $3.8 trillion needs to be invested each year in order to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and according to Banktrack 33 global banks invested $1.9 trillion into carbon intensive projects between 2016 – 2018.

It’s clear that something needs to change and women can play a catalytic role in bringing about the transformation that’s needed. Research studies have shown that women really care about the impact of their money. However, at the same time they are underrepresented in and underserved by the financial system.

This interactive workshop will empower women to take climate action with their personal finances, providing a unique opportunity to immerse people in thinking about green finance and the choices they have available to them. Empowering women to make changes with their personal finances offers a unique opportunity to support the financial resilience of women, but also protect our planet.

Workshop hosts who will facilitate these interactive discussions include: Mary Stevens, Experiments Programme Manager Friends of the Earth; Anneka Deva, Partnerships and Communications Director, Enrol Yourself; Naomi Naidoo, Advisory Board Member, OwnIt, Lisa Ashford, CEO, Ethex; Isona Shibata, Programme Manager, Energise Africa; Julie Dunn, Content Manager, Ethex and Rachel Mountain, Head of Communications, Energise Africa.


Mobilising Equitable, Just and Gender-Sensitive Climate Finance

As the University for the Common Good, Glasgow Caledonian University has adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for its research strategy. Its flagship Centre for Climate Justice is committed to addressing the overarching objective of the SDGs of ‘leaving no one behind’.

This event will shine a spotlight on the need for Advancing Equitable, Just & Gender Sensitive Climate Finance. How can we accelerate and promote the practical action and radical change that is required to help the poorest communities and particularly women and girls get access to climate finance? How can we enable them to build resilience and reduce their vulnerability to climate-related disasters at all levels; households, the community and the economy?

This thought-provoking conversation will connect world-leading experts with the public to inspire participation and discuss locally-led action plans on gender-sensitive, climate just and inclusive climate financing needs.

Former President of Ireland Dr Mary Robinson will deliver a key-note address providing insights on the challenges faced by communities as they try to access finance and the success stories of women’s negotiating skills around accessing climate finance.

Macro-perspectives into how financing structures have changed and what remains to be done to bridge the climate just financing gap for women will be explored. We will deep-dive into the processes developed via the Climate Justice Lab in Brazil for progressive social change.

This event will be opened by Professor Pamela Gillies, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Glasgow Caledonian University and Chaired by Professor Tahseen Jafry, Director of the Centre for Climate Justice at GCU.


The insurance industry: climate leaders or climate laggards? Launching the 2021 Scorecard on Insurance, Fossil Fuels and Climate Change

On Finance Day at COP26, the Insure Our Future campaign will host an event presenting how the finance industry, specifically insurers, can stop supporting fossil fuels and accelerate the clean energy transition.

Speakers will release the 2021 Fossil Fuel Insurance Scorecard, providing the latest assessment on the shift of the insurance industry away from underwriting and investing in coal, oil and gas. Climate campaigners from around the world will present the leaders and laggards in the global insurance industry, identify areas of progress and inaction, and discuss the climate wrecking fossil fuel projects that insurers are enabling.

The Insure Our Future network is a global coalition of NGOs and social movements advocating for insurance companies to exit coal, oil and gas. Insurance companies are a critical pillar of support for the fossil fuel industry. Without their cover, most new fossil fuel projects cannot be built, and many existing operations will have to be phased out. Thus, the insurance industry has a unique power to drive the transition to a low-carbon economy by limiting cover to projects that are consistent with a pathway to 1.5°C. Yet, despite many commitments to climate action, the insurance industry continues to underwrite the expansion of fossil fuel production and invest in fossil fuel companies.

Speakers at this event will include:
Peter Bosshard, Global Coordinator of Insure Our Future
Joseph Sikulu, Pacific Managing Director, 350.org
Lucie Pinson, Founder and Director, Reclaim Finance


Women in Finance Climate Action Group: practical steps to deliver finance for climate action and gender equality

Women and girls are hit hardest by climate impacts around the world. They are also hugely under-represented in climate negotiations.

Join Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc as she convenes the Women in Finance Climate Action Group – a collective of women leaders from around the world – to set out how we can tackle the connected issues of gender inequality and private climate finance.

The event will feature senior women from business, the public sector and civil society exploring how private finance can and must support both climate action and gender equality. It will focus on the tangible actions that are needed, underpinned by the first ever research report to look into the connection between these issues in depth.

Audience participation will be encouraged, with the Climate Action Group looking to connect and strengthen the network of women looking to help solve these issues around the world.


Pensions with impact – Adopting a transitional mindset for a better future

Investors have the power to drive solutions to climate change and support a transition to a net-zero carbon world. With 1% of pension savings across the 37 OECD countries representing US $320 billion, there is great potential for pension schemes to capitalise upon investment opportunities that have positive impact and drive the transition to a net-zero economy while making a financial return.

The shift to a net-zero carbon economy will have practical consequences on people and communities, for example, job losses in some sectors, and growth opportunities and new skills required in others. This is one reason why the transition to net-zero needs to be a just transition, considering the social impacts of tackling climate change.

The Impact Investing Institute has developed four Impact Investing Principles for Pensions, which provide practical guidelines on how pensions can pursue an investing strategy that can contribute to delivering a just transition, and how pension trustees, advisors, fiduciary managers and asset managers can adopt a ‘transitional mindset’ – considering the risks and opportunities within their portfolio presented by the transition to a more sustainable world. The Principles have been adopted by a number of pension schemes and investment consultants and are supported by key industry bodies.

Join the Impact Investing Institute and hear from a range of voices in the industry who will share the investment opportunities and case studies presented by adopting a just transition investing approach, the advantages for institutional investors, such as pensions funds, in adopting a transitional mindset and how that can help to build socially and environmentally resilient economies in the future.


The Economics of Climate Change

Oxera, Europe’s foremost economics and finance consultancy, will bring the Economics of Climate Change to life through the film lens as we hear from six guest CEOs and founders of some of the fastest-growing start-ups that are tackling the climate challenge. A short film will show you what investors, economists and GreenTech start-ups are doing, before we begin a lively interactive discussion of the Economics of Climate Change, moderated by Oxera Partners Jostein Kristensen and Sahar Shamsi.

Oxera has advised governments and businesses for nearly 40 years on improving the functioning of markets to achieve important policy objectives. This visually engaging and wide-ranging session will illustrate how economics can provide the toolkit for harnessing the multi-disciplinary skills that will ultimately make decarbonisation possible.

Our cinematic presentation will bring you into contact with deep insights, taking you from the use of worldwide geo-mapping of climate risk exposure to land and buildings, to the harnessing of the power of the oceans for achieving decarbonisation. We will discuss data driving carbon offset quality and ratings, supporting investors in the space now and in the future. We will look at the economics issues resulting from new innovative local low-carbon freight delivery systems, and at batteries that do not need recharging for decades. We will see how economics is a study of positive trade-offs that is key to bringing vital solutions and technologies to market.

Join several of tomorrow’s great leaders and investors to navigate the Economics of Climate Change. Alongside the Partners from Oxera, you will meet:

Iggy Bassi, Founder and CEO, Cervest
Sam Gill, Co-founder and COO, Sylvera
Steve Whitehead, COO, Infinite Power Company
Michael Naylor, Chairman, Jupiter Green Investment Trust
Sam Roch-Perks, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Simply Blue Group
Phill Davies, Co-Founder and Commercial Director, Magway



Exploring Sustainable Futures Game

Embark on an interactive and immersive journey to explore how the world can evolve, as we respond to the cataclysmic effect of climate change.

Through using the Cranfield University Sustainability Group’s scenario exploration game, audience members can shape the decisions of the actors on stage and together journey to the future. Join us to explore the new world we have created and bring back important lessons, to put into our actions today. How will you feel about this new future and what will you learn?

Find out more about the game and Cranfield University here – https://www.cranfield.ac.uk/research/cop26