Sustainable Finance for Breakfast (16)

Held on Monday, March 25, 2019

With support from Burges Salmon


  • Ben Caldecott (University of Oxford)

  • Eugenia Unanyants-Jacskon (Allianz)

  • Brian Scott-Quinn (ICMA)



I have just come back from the US, where the buzz around the so-called Green New Deal is now deafening. It sounds semi-crazy to me (kill all the cows and ban domestic air travel, to produce carbon neutrality by 2050 and to combat the threat from methane), but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has clearly hit a nerve. At least three potential presidential candidates have signed up, and everyone is taking it very seriously. Closer to home, the Romanian Presidency of the European Council has been working closely with the Commission on low carbon benchmarks, on a draft Taxonomy Regulation and, more broadly, on a framework to facilitate sustainable investment as the third pillar to the EU’s Sustainable Finance Plan. Even closer to home, the CBI has been calling for action on the UK’s Sustainable Development Goals, DEFRA is consulting on plastic waste, HSBC is facing growing pressure against its funding of coal projects, and the recent International Petroleum Week here in London was heavily focused on cutting emissions. Oh, and the Australian mining industry just took a hit when the courts blocked the development of the Rocky Hill thermal coal project on the grounds of its potential contribution to climate change.

And all that was the product of a 20-minute Google crawl – which reinforces the key point: the sustainable finance space is growing by the day, and has unequivocally moved into the mainstream.

Fortunately, the intrepid Ben Caldecott – founding director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and co-chair of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment – has agreed, once again, to guide us through the various rules, regulations, initiatives and conferences that make up his daily diet as one of the UK’s leading authorities on sustainability. Helping him out this month are:

  • Eugenia Unanyants-Jackson, Global Head of ESG Research at Allianz Global Investors and former Head of Corporate Governance at BMO Global Asset Management.

  • Brian Scott-Quinn, emeritus professor at Henley’s ICMA Centre, a member of the EU’s High-level Group on Sustainable Finance and an adviser to Penultimate Energy. He has also recently published an important article on financial sustainability.

This is very much a caring-and-sharing event, and we would appreciate your input. However, whether or not you want to share your own thoughts and experience, do come along; I can guarantee a lively discussion. Just let us know first by emailing or by calling the Centre on 02076211056. Thanks to the generous hospitality of our friends at Burges Salmon, there will be plenty of (low carbon/high fibre) tea, coffee and buns.

Sincerely yours,

Andrew Hilton