Throughout summer 2020, Glennmont Partners facilitated a series of webinars titled ‘Glennmont Insights – Financing a clean energy future’. The one-on-one ‘in conversation’ events with senior political and industry stakeholders took place over the course of June and July, exploring how we can bring forward the investment required to achieve decarbonisation targets and tackle climate change as we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.
The first event was titled ‘How can we build a consensus on climate policy ahead of COP26?’ and saw Glennmont Director, Peter Dickson in conversation with the Labour Party’s Shadow Green New Deal and Energy Minister, Dr Alan Whitehead MP. The second webinar was titled ‘What will the opportunities be for sustainable investment after COVID-19?’ for which CEO of Glennmont, Joost Bergsma spoke with Chair of the Energy Transitions Commission, and former Chair of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Turner of Ecchinswell. In the final instalment of the three-part series, Peter spoke with Head of the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Eric Usher in an event titled ‘How can the financial sector better align itself with the energy transition?’
Some of the key conclusions drawn from the webinar series are as follows:
The UK has reached a political consensus that decarbonising the economy is a priority. Despite differing opinions on the required speed of decarbonisation, the COVID-19 pandemic has acted as an impetus to accelerate investment in clean infrastructure.
The European Union must be ambitious with its COVID-19 bail-out package focusing its funding in three segments. Projects that create jobs immediately such as decarbonising buildings, packages that have the capacity to invest in the creation of assets and infrastructure and a focus on research and development to drive innovation in new clean technologies.
We must see further integration of environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues into institutional investment, building an expectation that investors are not just seeking monetary returns for their investment despite the current crisis.
The UK Government must lead by example at the delayed COP26 in Glasgow next year to ensure there is progress on climate change related-issues throughout Europe and more broadly across the globe.
Political tensions between the US and China stand to inhibit the global progress made on climate policy since Paris 2015. Both nations have shown some willingness to adopt to clean energy policies, but growing uncertainty and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement could damage this progress.
Further collaboration between investors and the organisations they fund is required by developing relationships which award organisations for their attempts to become greener and ultimately penalise those who fail to meet their divestment targets from fossil fuels.
For the full summary and speaker biographies, please click here.