Faith Ward at COP 26

Alex Monro
Head of Communications
14th November 2021

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We wanted to provide a small picture of what Faith Ward got up to at COP 26, where she had access to the Blue Zone in her capacity as Chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change.

Later this week, we will provide analysis on the major announcements made at the conference. This note, however, is just to give you a picture of her experience at COP 26: what she saw, who she met, talks she gave and a few other observations. We hope you find it useful. She didn’t have much time to sleep!

More than anything else, we would like to highlight the Lombard Odier panel (image above) that Faith sat on at the end of last week: Deploying capital in the age of planetary boundaries. The list of fellow panellists gives a sense of the high value placed on Faith’s work. The other panellists were:

  • Mark Carney, former governor of the central banks of England and Canada, finance advisor to the UK presidency at COP 26, chair of the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net-Zero (https://www.gfanzero.com/)
  • Professor Johan Rockström of the Stockholm Resilience Centre (https://www.stockholmresilience.org/), architect of the Planetary Boundaries Framework (you may like to watch the 2021 Netflix feature documentary on the framework, presented by Sir David Attenborough: https://bit.ly/3nnRL2N)
  • Jeremy Oppenheim, founder and Chair of SystemIQ, whose enormous climate remit spans policy, business and social action – as early as 2007, he set up the Sustainability & Resource Productivity Practice at McKinsey, where he was a senior partner

You can watch highlights from the session on Lombard Odier’s website. The full panel session is also available.

Another panel to highlight from COP 26 is The Investor Agenda: Accelerating global investor actions for a net-zero emissions economy. You can watch more to learn from Faith and her fellow panellists about how the investor agenda is helping to accelerate climate action by watching the panel on YouTube.

A third panel (above) was hosted by Chile’s Ministry of Energy: The Pivotal Role of Green Financing to meet the Paris Agreement targets and deliver the Sustainable Development Goals. You can find the opening remarks on the UN website.

Close to our own heart in still other ways, the IIGCC hosted the panel Nature-based solutions, deforestation, Dasgupta, natural capital … what does it all this mean in practice for investors? (above), on which the EAPF’s Marion Maloney was a panellist. The panel chair was Emelia Holdaway, IIGCC Policy Programme Director and the event took place at Federated Hermes’ Skypark Campus, as part of the Fringe Festival.

Despite the gravity of the occasion, there were still moments of distraction and amusement to be had, and not a little celeb-spotting – including space explorers both real (Tim Peake) and imagined (Darth Vader.)

Faith was also able to have a number of useful, more informal conversations with a whole range of individuals. Just to give you a flavour…:

  • David Russell, head of RI at the University Superannuation Scheme (pictured below) – they explored the Green Zone together
  • Committed activists (who kindly agreed to have their photo taken – see image below) – Faith was able to explain our policy on divestment
  • Members of Global Young Greens (image below) – Faith listened to their concerns, among which they emphasised climate finance, the use of minerals in renewables, and the risk of exploiting the Global South if climate solutions failed to be inclusive.
  • Stallholders at the impressive Americas-based #ResilientWoman / #MujerResiliente Initiative (image below), which now focuses on climate leadership for women, too
  • Trade Union representatives from Canada, the US, South Africa attending a WWF panel on ‘moving past coal’ (image below)  – Faith was able to talk about IFDS
  • The next Lord Mayor of the City of London
  • National Grid’s Chief Sustainability Officer – they will hold a follow-up meeting
  • John Gummer, Lord Deben
  • Rishi Madlani (image below ), an old ally, and the Head of Sustainable Finance at Natwest and Chair of London LGPS CIV (Rishi and Faith have both been nominated for LAPF Personality of the Year, but I am reliably informed they would happily vote for one another for that particular gong…)

Later this week, we will provide an analysis of the major announcements at COP, posted to this website.


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