Sustainable Finance for Breakfast (14)

Held on Tuesday, January 15, 2019

With support from CMS 


  • Ben Caldecott (University of Oxford)

  • Jessica Fries (AfS)

  • Paul Sheridan (CMS)



Our last meeting (November 20) made a convert out of me… For the first time, I really got the message that sustainability is now at the core of investment decisions at the institutional and retail levels, and that its salience is only going to increase.

Since then, I guess, the big event has been COP24, held in the deeply unlovely coal-mining town of Katowice. As I read the runes, it was (at best) a mixed success – and that may be pushing it. Although there was no agreement on a global carbon market, Germany and Norway did pledge to double their contribution to the global fund for emerging markets, and the EBRD did commit to a “no coal, no caveats” policy. Still, I am sure there is a lot more to say – as well as about the kerfuffle that Shell’s pledge on climate change has caused.

Key to explaining what is going on is our regular anchor, Ben Caldecott – founding director of the sustainable finance programme at Oxford’s Smith School (and many, many other things). Backing him up this month are:

  • Jessica Fries, executive chair of A4S – better known (to me, at least) as Accountability for Sustainability, which is The Prince of Wales’s initiative to (in his words) “help ensure that we are not battling to meet the 21st century challenges with, at best, 20th century decision-making and reporting systems”. Jessica is also on the board of the Natural Capital Coalition, and was responsible for establishing and running the International Integrated Reporting Council.

  • Paul Sheridan, partner and head of CMS’ environmental law practice. With almost 25 years’ experience, he advises clients on domestic, EU and international environment laws, specialising, inter alia, on clean energy, energy efficiency, cleantech, climate change and corporate reporting.

This is (as always) a caring and sharing experience, so I hope you will feel free to add your own views – and to invite any colleagues (or friends) who might be interested, just let us know by emailing or by calling the Centre on 0207 621 1056. As usual, there will be tea, coffee and buns to start the day off right.

Best wishes,

Andrew Hilton