Headlines From The 2020 Green Horizon Summit: The Pivotal Role Of Finance

“We need a shift in our economic model that places nature and the world’s transition to net zero at the heart of how we operate, prioritizing the pursuit of sustainable, inclusive growth in the decades to come.” HRH The Prince of Wales

Hosted in partnership with the City of London, Green Finance Institute, and the World Economic Forum, the 2020 Green Horizon Summit touched upon the transition to a sustainable and resilient future for all. It aimed to reset the relationship between finance and the real economy and mobilize capital for a green recovery ahead of COP26 (postponed to November of next year).

The summit covered five major themes:

  • Reporting, Risk Management and Return
  • Financing the Energy Transition
  • Infrastructure and Green Growth
  • Financing Resilience and Adaptation
  • Nature and Net Zero

On the first day of the summit, Mark Carney, the UN’s Special Envoy for Climate and Adviser to the UK Prime Minister for the COP26 climate negotiations, released a plan titled Building a Private Financial System for Net Zero. This plan calls upon investors, governments and other actors in the financial chain to mobilize capital for the net zero transition. 

The summit also covered the United Kingdom’s announcement that starting in 2023 all publicly listed UK companies with premium listing will be required to “comply or explain” with the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) requirements. 

HRH The Prince of Wales outlined 10 steps for financing and investment to drive the green recovery including: proactively mobilizing investments in sustainable infrastructure and rigorously working towards the provision of reliable data and actively advancing the adoption of common metrics and standards.

Overall, the summit had a clear focus on the need for the private sector’s enhanced involvement in sustainable development. Commenting on this need for further involvement, Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of UNFCCC, noted that “there’s clear evidence the financial sector understands the environmental risk the world faces and the opportunity available in clean technologies and investments”.  

Bill Gates built upon this by saying that “companies, investors and shareholders can play a pivotal role in this transition by mobilizing capital for the technologies and businesses we need to build a net-zero future.”

Recordings of each of the sessions can be found here.