Sustainable Finance for Breakfast (18)

Held on Tuesday, June 11


  • Ben Caldecott (University of Oxford)

  • Veronica Poole (Deloitte)

  • Fong Yee Chan (FTSE Russell)



Since our last SF4B meeting on May 1, I note:

  • a warning from the IEA that (to quote the FT) “the world is moving in the opposite direction to the Paris climate pact goals, with investment in renewable energy falling… and spending on fossil fuel extraction rising”;

  • a joint report from the OECD and Germany’s BMU that most signatories to the Paris Climate Accord are actually doing very little (if anything) to put their commitments into practice;

  • reports that Merkel’s anointed successor as Chancellor, AKK, is succumbing to industry pressure, and watering down the CDU’s commitment to combating climate change; and

  • a warning from our own FCA that there is insufficient “clarity” surrounding impact funds – hinting that this could well be where the next mis-selling scandal comes.

And so on. On the other hand, we had (for better or worse) the disruptive theatre of the Extinction Rebellion and the galvanizing appearance of Greta Thunberg (I must be careful there; any criticism doesn’t go down well). Plus:

  • Philips has just done its first Green Bond under its Innovation Bond Framework, raising €750 million for seven years at just 0.5%;

  • large asset managers, including Columbia Threadneedle, are (at least, according to the FT) “urging the UK government to issue green sovereign bonds”;

  • the CFA UK has announced that it is launching a new qualification in ESG investing, supported by the PRI;

  • the shiny new City Corporation-funded Green Finance Institute (due to open in July) has just appointed the first CEO - Rhian-Mari Thomas, latterly head of green finance at Barclays;

  • ESMA has just submitted its technical advice to the European Commission to support its Sustainability Action Plan; and

  • for all the political problems around power generation in particular, German industry and government seem to have found some common ground at the latest Peterberg Summit on climate change in Berlin.

So, as usual, a mixed bag for the Smith School’s green finance guru, Ben Caldecott, to get his teeth into. This month, he gets back-up from:

  • Veronica Poole, global IFRS leader and UK head of accounting and corporate reporting at Deloitte. She is also a judge for this year’s Finance for the Future Awards, and is galvanising Deloitte’s action on climate issues.

  • Fong Yee Chan, senior product manager in sustainable investment at FTSE Russell, responsible for product strategy and development. She is also on the board of the UK Sustainable Investment and Finance Association.

Lots to talk about… If you (or a colleague) would like to join us, please let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual (and thanks to the generosity of Burges Salmon), there will be coffee, tea and buns.

Many thanks,

Andrew Hilton