07th June 2021

“Hundred billion dollar failure” on the agenda as global leaders in ethical and sustainable finance gather for annual summit


2021 Ethical Finance Summit is a significant milestone on the road to COP26


Monday, 7 May 2021 – The sixth annual Ethical Finance Summit takes place this week (8-10 June) from its base in Edinburgh, with the theme Financing a Sustainable Future: Climate and Beyond.


Some of the world’s most prominent experts in responsible finance, several major financial services and energy companies, and 3,000 delegates from over 100 countries will debate the role of finance in facilitating a net-zero economy.


Omar Shaikh, co-founder of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), which is responsible for convening the three-day summit, considers the event a “major staging post on the road to COP26”, the 26th annual UN climate conference which is being held in Glasgow this November.


One item that is expected to feature in that context is the failure of developed countries to deliver on the commitment made in 2009 at COP16 to mobilise $100 billion each year by 2020 to address the climate action needs of developing countries. Based on analysis* by the independent expert group on climate finance, contributions had been on an upward trajectory to 2018, but still falling short of the agreed target of $100 billion per year by 2020.


Omar Shaikh said: “We need to have frank discussions about the role of finance in making green energy and green technologies a reality in the near future. Administrations in the global north also need to be honest and candid about how we are failing the south, with the unmet hundred billion dollar commitment of the last decade the most obvious example of our collective failure to build the trust and cooperation necessary to address what is a global problem and must therefore be a global project. It needs to be a wholly inclusive venture.


Net-zero carbon targets cannot be achieved unless the global finance sector makes the right choices. The United Nations will not meet its 17 sustainable development goals without finance collaborating to act now. It is even more vital that private finance is mobilised alongside public finance to meet these challenging deadlines.


“The financial sector has a pivotal role to play in tackling not only climate change, but many of the other major challenges and questions we face as societies around the world. We want to harness that significant investment power and direct it towards the right opportunities. That’s why we are thrilled once again to have gathered key players in the financial and energy sectors globally to lead agenda setting conversations about the future for ethical finance.


“COP26 is the biggest event Scotland has ever seen. The Ethical Finance Summit being run out of Edinburgh over the next three days is a major staging post in our journey towards it.”


The first day of the summit event is dedicated to global regional showcases, with leading figures from Australasia, South East Asia, South Asia and West Africa discussing the key issues facing them in ethical and sustainable finance.


The second day will focus on the climate and look more closely at global trends in sustainable finance, delivering net zero and financing nature.


Day three will look beyond climate issues to consider how best to finance the UN’s sustainable development goals, the importance of the ‘S’ in ESG, and sustainability leadership.


Speakers include:

  • Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, COP20 president and Global Leader of Climate & Energy, WWF
  • Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta, University of Cambridge
  • Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme
  • Dame Susan Rice, Chair of the Financial Services Culture Board
  • Dr Werner Hoyer, President of the European Investment Bank
  • Bill Winters, Group Chief Executive of Standard Chartered Bank
  • Sir Howard Davies, Chairman of Natwest Group
  • Deirdre Michie, Chief Execeutive of Oil and Gas UK




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