The UK’s independent adviser on tackling climate change – webinar on Financing Net Zero


By James Craig

3 February 2021

As the pace towards achieving a Net Zero target by 2050 picks up so does the interest in how this ambitious goal might be financed. A recent webinar, presented by the UK’s Climate Change Committee, provided an insight from the finance sector on how this might be achieved. This organisation is an independent, statutory body established under the UK’s Climate Change Act 2008. Its purpose is to advise the UK Government on emissions targets and report on progress in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It also advises on the preparation for and adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Sam Neades’ IP provides more detail on this committee’s report: 2021-IP01: The CCC’s Sixth Carbon Budget Report – 7th January 2021.

The webinar on 27th January 2021 was chaired by Baroness Brown of Cambridge a former non-executive Director of the Green Investment Bank. Other contributors from the finance sector included:

• Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme, University of Oxford.

• Ingrid Holmes, Head of Policy and Advocacy – International, Federated Hermes.

• Andy Howard, Global Head of Sustainable Investment, Schroders.

• Daniel Klier, Global Head of Sustainable Finance, HSBC.

• Rishi Madlani, Head of Sustainable Finance and Just Transition, NatWest.

• Rhian-Mari Thomas, Chief Executive Officer, Green Finance Institute.

• Steve Waygood, Chief Responsible Investment Officer, Aviva Investors.

This was a really excellent webinar in terms of content and highly articulate speakers. Of note was Daniel Klier from HSBC who was asked why the bank he worked for was engaged with the Climate Change Committee when it invests in fossil-fuel projects – this was surely a conflict of interest. To which he replied there are 100 global companies responsible for 70% of GHG emissions. The transition to net zero cannot happen without them. He explained that some oil and gas companies are now big investors in renewable energy, for example Equinor. He also made a key point that transparency related to sustainable initiatives and investments is fundamental to secure public trust. This is particularly important in areas like negative emissions schemes which have to be based on credible sources to establish trust. The content and delivery were very encouraging and the contributors were all accomplished communicators highly capable of delivering key messages to a wider audience.

For more information, including the report “Economic impact of the Sixth Carbon Budget (Cambridge Econometrics)”

please visit:

Presentations from the webinar are available at: 

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