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Challenges of tomorrow are the focus of Guernsey Sustainable Finance Week

17 August 2022

Guernsey’s third Sustainable Finance Week will focus on three critical global themes central in the race to net zero - carbon markets and pricing, biodiversity and energy transition.

The themes were originally published in the organisation’s Green Finance Strategy Report, and developed in consultation with Guernsey’s finance industry and internationally through discussions and participation with green and sustainable finance global leaders and associations, including the UN FC4S and discussions at COP26.  

Sustainable Finance Week will highlight current and important issues for the broader finance community and features industry leading keynote speakers, panel sessions, fireside chats and networking opportunities. It is hosted on-island by Guernsey Finance through its Guernsey Green Finance initiative from Monday 19-Friday 23 September. 

Keynote speakers include Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency, James Close, Head of Climate Change at NatWest Group and Adam Matthews, Chief Responsible Investment Officer at the Church of England Pensions Board. There are also addresses by key individuals from Gresham House, Rathbone Greenbank, NextEnergy Capital, Octopus Renewables, London Stock Exchange Group and Carbon Tracker. There will also be fringe events taking place on each day of the week, organised by various companies and institutions.

There are three main conference days, beginning on Tuesday 20 September, which will focus on biodiversity, its role in the race to net-zero, the position of private wealth and institutional capital in accelerating change and emerging business models that show investible and bankable propositions.  

Wednesday 21 September will define energy transition and how it will affect the finance sector, focusing on the insurance and funds industries as they seek to engage with the risks and opportunities that transition presents, all in the context of the global 1.5-degree goal. Thursday 22 September will explore carbon markets and pricing and their role in influencing the flow of capital and innovation, how the investment fund industry responds and drives the net-zero agenda and the increasing demand for carbon credits. 

Guernsey Finance Head of Strategy and Sustainable Finance, Stephanie Glover, said Guernsey is reaffirming its status as a leader in sustainable finance by analysing the future challenges for the global finance industry.  

“It is clear that the finance industry has a critical role in the path to net zero. So, we hope that Guernsey’s Sustainable Finance Week will be a thought-provoking moment for professionals to consider how their strategies can play a part,” she said. “It’s crucial that organisations and industry professionals have the opportunity to share knowledge, learn and collaborate so we can transition towards a sustainable future. As a leader in sustainable finance, Guernsey is excited to host so many experts at this landmark event.

“I am keen to emphasise that this is an event with a difference. We are welcoming world-class thought leaders to our spectacularly beautiful island and we look forward to key movers from the world of finance joining us. Whereas last year, when we hosted Sustainable Finance Week as a hybrid in-person and digital event, this year is all in-person, with numerous opportunities for intimate networking opportunities, all taking place on-island.”

Guernsey Finance Chief Executive, Rupert Pleasant, said: “This year’s event will be the first where we can fully open our doors to delegates across the globe. Green and sustainable industries are developing rapidly, and as a market leader, we’re pleased to be hosting such important discussions.”

The three main days of events (Tuesday 20 September – Thursday 22 September) are sponsored by PwC, HSBC and RBS International, respectively, and supporting firms will also hold their fringe events throughout the week. 

Guernsey is strongly committed to the sustainable finance agenda as a member of UN FC4S, the Network for Greening the Financial System and the UN’s Sustainable Insurance Forum. 

Each day will also feature art and science exhibitions including a collection of biodiversity and nature-themed art, showcasing Guernsey’s connection to Renoir and Victor Hugo. Thursday will host award-winning polar explorer and photographer Martin Hartley to present his work photographing the polar ice caps. 

These will include engagement with local schools. On Tuesday, the event will be supported by Art for Guernsey, a local art charity managed by a team of passionate professionals who share a belief in the power of art to achieve wider societal goals. The exhibition will feature a collection of biodiversity and nature-themed art, showcasing Guernsey’s connection to Renoir and Victor Hugo. On Thursday, we will be inviting award-winning polar explorer and photographer Martin Hartley to present his work photographing the polar ice caps.

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