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COP26 News

COP26 Day 3 – Finance

COP continued today with heads of state and government, heads of international organisations, civil society and business leaders coming together to discuss how we can mobilise private and public finance flows at scale for mitigation and adaptation. Finance needs to be mobilised at scale for net zero and climate resilient growth and development, supporting emerging markets and developing economies.

The headline event of the Presidency Programme focussed on how COP26 represents a step-change in mobilising finance at scale to keep 1.5oC within reach and support climate resilient development. Additional talks throughout the day include A Financial System for Net Zero, Financing a more Resilient World and a closed door event between the Coalition and the Network for Greening the Financial System to discuss best practises to mainstream climate-related risks and opportunities into their financial and economic policy decision making.

You can follow the latest COP news here and watch live events on their YouTube Channel here.

Here in the North East, NEECCo is working hard with our Sustainable Finance planning group to consider how the North East can work at pace to deliver the necessary finance to develop a greener and ultimately net zero future.

In collaboration with Environment Agency, ESG Oracle, North East England Nature Partnership, The Rivers Trust, The Water Hub and Keystone Impact Investments, NEECCo have produced a finance report: Resourcing Our Future – Developing Natural Capital across the North East.

“Our economy is fundamentally underpinned by the stability and resilience of the natural world” (Our Planet: Too big to fail – 2021) In turn, sustainable Finance has a huge role to play in resourcing a net zero future. The UK Government has committed to emissions reduction, while increasing overall environmental and economic resilience within a generation. NEECCo is coordinating cross-sector expertise to tackle climate risks, reverse ecological collapse and deliver a just transition to net zero. We are developing a £1.5bn portfolio of investable projects to achieve these aims. Fundamental to this effort is the need for wide ranging, profitable and carefully orchestrated investment in nature based solutions and enhanced whole system adaptation. Whilst developing a cohesive framework, this will be twinned with a toolkit guide to real world implementation to that project development pathways become more accessible and easier to mobilise. You can read NEECCo’s full report here.

To join in the discussion of Sustainable Finance, NEECCo hosted 2 virtual webinars. Will Emtage from ESG Oracle lead an engaging presentation on Sustainable Finance for business. Will Emtage is the managing director of ESG Oracle and has over 10 year’s experience in sustainable investment.
He is passionate about helping organisations create and embed strong revenue-centres at the heart of sustainability programmes – in turn helping to attract investment on favourable terms, and delivering measurable impact at greater scales than was previously possible. Will also advises the Energy for Tomorrow Social Impact fund and has extensive experience in pairing sustainable finance with community equity structures to ensure that rewards are shared with local stakeholders.

ESG Oracle’s core mission is to help bridge the gap between finance and real-world sustainability so that capital is invested where it can make the greatest meaningful difference. If you’d like to see Will’s presentation, you can watch it again here, or view the slides here. And you can learn more about ESG Oracle from their website.

In the afternoon, Fergus Westwood, Chartered Wealth Manager from St James’s Place led a conversation on Green Pensions. Fergus is an experienced investment professional who believes that with the right engagement from governments, companies and the people of the world, it will be possible to avert climate catastrophe. St James’s Place have a clear commitment to responsible investing following the United Nations Principles of Responsible Investing, drawn from the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. You can read SJP’s 2021 Carbon Emissions Report here.

Our Finance Case Study for the day featured Robson Laidler Accountants, who are the first registered B-Corp in the North East. You can read about their sustainability practises and what a B-Corp is here.

Throughout the North East region several more events hosted by NEECCo strategic partners and supporters took place, notably The North East England Construction Summit 2021 hosted by Constructing Excellence in the North East (CENE) at Ramside Hall Hotel. The Summit which supported the OneVoice campaign aiming to build a successful, sustainable and inclusive construction industry, equipped with the people and technology to deliver a carbon neutral built environment by 2050.

CENE also held an Innovation Exhibition. Featuring innovative materials, products and processes which will help the North East England Climate Coalition’s (NEECCo) drive to be England’s greenest region.

NEPO hosted a webinar on Successful Tendering. NEPO have been working with North East local authorities since 1976 on the strategic procurement of high value goods in order to maximise efficiencies and promote best practice, including ESG governance. They are hosting a series of webinars this month which you can view here.

Away from the world of finance, Climate Action North had their first Climate Hope Day with a virtual event on YouTube including speakers from NEECCo, Festival of Thrift, Rewilding Britain and more. You can rewatch the event on their YouTube channel here.

And finally, South Tyneside Council hosted their own Twitter debate on the role of third sector business in climate change. South Tyneside Council are running several events during COP. You can find the programme of events on their website.