Westminster Business Forum - Green finance and the impact of climate change on financial services

Date: 10th September 2019

Location: Central London


This seminar will examine options for:

  • growing the green finance sector in the UK, and
  • addressing the impact of climate change on financial services.

The conference will be an opportunity for stakeholders and policymakers to discuss the Green Finance Strategy which includes:

  • Measures to support the growth of green finance - including the launch of the Green Finance Institute, a Green Home Finance Fund and a Green Finance Education Charter; and             
  • A stated expectation that listed firms and pension funds will introduce the disclosure of climate-related risks by 2022.

In light of the significant impact that climate change is expected to have on financial services, sessions will discuss how firms can adequately protect themselves to mitigate liability, physical and transition risks associated with climate change - and the way policy and regulation will need to further develop.  

Delegates will assess the effectiveness of the proposals set out in the Green Finance Strategy in ‘greening’ the financial system and meeting climate targets, creating investment pipelines to ensure that the transition to green finance is profitable for businesses and consider next steps for government and industry in supporting growth and competition in green and sustainable finance - looking at:

  • avenues for innovation;
  • trends in investment and product development; and
  • latest thinking on how firms can adopt green principles as part of their culture. 

The seminar is timed as the Bank of England prepares its assessment of how it manages climate-related financial risk and as the Treasury Select Committee launches an inquiry into the decarbonisation of the UK economy and Green Finance.

Discussion will draw on recommendations in the first comprehensive report by the Central Banks and Supervisors Network for Greening the Financial System, on banks and their supervisors integrating climate risks into their financial stability processes.

We expect discussion on:

  • the impact of exposure to increased extreme weather events on financial services;
  • responding to growing investor activism promoting fossil fuel disinvestment; and
  • global trends towards the tightening of regulation and taxation for carbon emitting businesses.

Sessions will also discuss the growing trend towards disclosure of climate-related exposure and the financial risks they pose to companies, whether disclosures should become mandatory, the risks and opportunities they pose for businesses, following the new expectation for businesses to do so by 2022 as part of the Green Finance Strategy.

Sessions will also look at how regulators and policymakers should best respond to the growth of green finance and the effects of climate change on financial services.

The conference follows the PRA’s policy statement on its consultation on improving the way banks and insurers approach the management of the financial risks of climate change, as firms finalise their initial plans to implement the new proposals - including embedding consideration of financial risks from climate change into governance, risk management practice, risk scenario analysis and developing an approach to disclose financial risks. 

It also comes as the FCA considers responses to its consultation on how regulators can ensure the protection of consumers and the financial services sector - such as the introduction of rules to place extra responsibilities on pensions trustees to consider the risks arising from climate change.

The discussion reflects concerns around the potential ‘greenwashing’ of some investment products, and delegates will consider what further measures could be taken to improve the transparency of firms’ environmental impact to protect consumers and investors.

Sir Roger Gifford

Chairman, Green Finance Initiative, City of London Corporation; Chair, Green Finance Taskforce and UK Country Head, SEB

Emma Howard Boyd

Chair, Environment Agency

Keynote Speakers

Chris O’Donovan

Senior Policy Advisor, HM Treasury

Chris Faint

Head, Peer Supervision and Climate Risks, Bank of England

Sir Roger Gifford

Chairman, Green Finance Initiative, City of London Corporation; Chair, Green Finance Taskforce and UK Country Head, SEB

Emma Howard Boyd

Chair, Environment Agency


Lord Teverson

Chairman, House of Lords EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee and Chairman, Wessex Investors (subject to Parliamentary business)


Ed Wells

Group Head of Policy, Sustainable Finance and Investment, HSBC Holdings

Charlie Kronick

Senior Climate Advisor, Greenpeace

Jon Williams

Partner, Sustainability and Climate Change, PwC

Catherine Howarth

Chief Executive, ShareAction

Vanessa Havard-Williams

Partner and Global Head of Environment, Linklaters

Rongrong Huo

Executive Director and Head of Investment Institute, Investec Asset Management

Bevis Watts

Chief Executive Officer, Triodos Bank UK

Eimear Toomey

Director of Client Relations, Sustainalytics

George Duncan

Head of Group Funding, SSE

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