10×10 Takes: Getting Down to Business at GxC with MaRS Discovery District’s Tyler Hamilton
Our upcoming event, GLOBExCHANGE (Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2023) builds on our recently published 10×10 Matrix, which identifies the 10 areas where we need to take action in the next 10 years to get to net zero.
In our 10×10 Takes video series we’re talking with climate leaders who are working to advance these action areas. First up, let’s get down to business on Unlocking Innovation with MaRS Discovery District’s Senior Director of Cleantech, Tyler Hamilton.
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Elizabeth Shirt Welcomes the World to GLOBExCHANGE
GLOBE Series’ President, Elizabeth Shirt, is excited to get down to business and win the race to net zero at GLOBExCHANGE (Feb. 27-Mar. 1, 2023)! Explore new sessions added to the preliminary program, dive into the 10×10, and register by Dec. 15 to take advantage of Early Bird rates.
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COP27 Reflections with Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change
Earlier this month at COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Canada hosted its first-ever Pavilion, featuring 200+ climate leaders and 80+ unique events that showcased the breadth and diversity of Canadian climate action. Hot on the heels of the world’s biggest climate summit, Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Catherine Stewart, reconnected with GLOBE’s very own Elizabeth Shirt to reflect on key outcomes and challenges coming out of COP27, and what’s next for Canada at the COP15 Biodiversity Conference in Montréal (Dec. 7, 2022 – Dec. 19, 2022).
Join us in Toronto at GLOBExCHANGE (Feb. 27 – Mar. 1, 2023) to continue these vital conversations, invest in international collaboration, and exchange the solutions, skillsets, and dollars that will help advance Canada’s ambitious climate goals both at home and abroad: http://www.globexchange.ca/
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The Path to Net Zero: 10 Areas for Action
The path to net zero will require hard work, creativity, and a whole lot of collaboration. To help fuel and shape this collaboration, we have distilled the key takeaways from GLOBE Forum 2022 into the 10 action areas we need to prioritize in the next 10 years to achieve net zero by 2050.
Over the next few months, we will be developing an interactive 10×10 Matrix that highlights the actions that governments, businesses, and NGOs can take to achieve this ambitious but urgent target. We hope the 10×10 Matrix will not only inspire action, but also help you to better understand how your actions are connected to and enable others in your ecosystem.
To ensure that the 10×10 Matrix is representative of the issues facing diverse stakeholder groups, we have engaged the Leading Change Steering Committee and other partners. Virtual GLOBE Forum delegates will also have the opportunity to provide input into the full matrix in the coming weeks
The 10×10 will come to life at GLOBExCHANGE – our next Destination Net Zero event, taking place in Toronto on February 27 – March 1, 2023. GLOBExCHANGE will build on the conversations at GLOBE Forum and use the 10×10 Matrix as a basis for driving meaningful change in pursuit of our net-zero goals.
Mobilizing & Deploying Capital:
Develop policies that de-risk and incentivize investment, remove barriers to innovative financial instruments, and address funding gaps through partnerships and private/public investment
Accelerate commercialization of clean technologies, improve inter-jurisdictional knowledge sharing, support innovators and ecosystems, and accelerate public-private partnerships and community collaboration
Aligning Transparency, Standards & Reporting:
Create accountability and align climate-disclosure policies between jurisdictions and develop holistic sustainability/ESG frameworks to facilitate action and knowledge sharing
Identify national and regional risks, direct funding to resilient infrastructure retrofits and development, and improve land use planning
Creating a Circular Economy:
Design an Indigenous-centred circular economy roadmap; establish national and provincial goals, policies, and programs; and incorporate circular economy principles into data and financial modelling
Implementing Nature-based Solutions:
Prioritize nature-based solutions in formulating government initiatives and embed the value of natural solutions into infrastructure and business planning processes
Centering Indigenous Leadership, Engagement & Ways of Knowing:
Cultivate long-term relationships with Indigenous leadership and communities, enhance authentic engagement, collaboration and community capacity building initiatives, and support Indigenous knowledge-based adaptation
Leveraging Infrastructure & the Built Environment:
Focus on infrastructure investments and development that address community challenges, encourage compatibility through international collaboration, and identify built environment innovations that deliver numerous sustainability opportunities
Shifting to Low-Carbon Transportation:
Leverage policy instruments to incentivize the shift to low-carbon alternatives, focus on increasing access to connect under-resourced communities, and create infrastructure that supports the transition to EVs
Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition:
Implement strategic policy supports that actively close the gap between federal policy and provincial enforcement, align industry focus around the adoption of net-zero technologies, and encourage coalition-building across sectors
Are you thinking about offering an in-person, hybrid or virtual event, workshop or presentation? We can help!
For more information about how we can partner with you to deliver your next sustainability event, reach out to our Senior Manager, Event Partnerships, Caroline Vanasse, directly at email@example.com.
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Net Zero Insights hosted by John Stackhouse from RBC – Feat. Susannah Pierce, Shell Canada
Recorded at GLOBE Forum 2022, this Net Zero Insights video features host John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO from RBC in conversation with Susannah Pierce, Shell Canada’s President and Country Chair.
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10×10 Outcomes Report: Energy and Transportation Days
We are at the beginning of the most decisive decade in our lifetimes. What we do in the next 10 years will set the course for our net-zero future. To meet the moment, GLOBE Series launched Destination Net Zero Events—a three-event series culminating in GLOBE Forum 2022, the largest and longest-running sustainability conference in North America.
We’re embedding action and accountability into these events with the 10×10: 10 actions in 10 years we need to take to get to net zero. The actions identified in the Energy and Transportation Days event, which took place virtually October 26-27, 2021, are summarized in the 10×10 Outcomes Report. These outcomes will feed into the final 10×10 that is produced after Forum.
GLOBE Capital Q&A: John Casola, Chief Investment Officer, Canada Infrastructure Bank
For decades, investment in infrastructure has been viewed as a key mechanism for stimulating economic growth by creating jobs and helping to revitalize communities. Absent an economic crisis, the world typically spends over $2 trillion every year on infrastructure. In light of a global pandemic, stagnant investment, growing unemployment, and rock-bottom interest rates, investment in infrastructure—including our built environment as well as energy, transportation, water and telecom systems—is perceived by many as a prime opportunity to kick start growth.
As Chief Investment Officer at the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), John Casola is at the forefront of key initiatives put in place by the CIB to help drive economic recovery. At GLOBE Capital in April 2021, he joined the Reimagining our Infrastructure session to share the CIB’s progress to date. We caught up with him to learn more about the progress they’ve made over the last three months and what a ‘green recovery’ means for Canada.
As so many others have remarked, we are living in unprecedented times in a plethora of ways. You’ve been in this business for over 20 years now. Have you ever seen so much public attention on infrastructure?
I think infrastructure is currently front and centre for so many reasons. It tends to be a government go-to during down economic cycles, mainly because it provides jobs. I’ve been in this business long enough to see a few of those cycles and I think this time is different. There’s a recognition of the importance of infrastructure for long-term growth, for future well-being, and a recognition of the importance of quality. We’re no longer building things for the sake of building things. All levels of government across the country are really focusing on what’s going to make a long-term difference for their communities, citizens, and growth. They’re not opting for short-term fixes that create jobs, but don’t add anything to society.
“Green recovery” is an ideal that the CIB is truly putting into practice. Could you tell us more about that?
The green part of what we’re doing is critical. Our shareholder, the federal government, has established five priority sectors for us: trade and transportation, public transit, broadband, clean power, and green infrastructure. We have been allocated $35 billion to invest across these sectors, $10 billion of which is dedicated to our Growth Plan. This Plan is our response to the economic slowdown due to the pandemic. It aims to accelerate Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy and strengthen economic growth.
The past 16 months have shown us the critical need for sustainable infrastructure, and the importance of building up our economy to be resilient in the face of global challenges. At the beginning of the pandemic, our Chair challenged us to come up with a program that we could implement quickly with positive impacts on jobs, the environment, and the economy. We developed the Growth Plan—a $10 billion investment over three years, which is divided into the following components:
- $2B for building retrofits
- $1.5B for zero-emission buses
- $2B for broadband
- $1.5B for agricultural infrastructure
- $500M for project acceleration
With eight announcements in the last six months, we have an incredible start and we’re gaining strong momentum.
At GLOBE Capital, the CIB announced an investment of up to $655 million in the Lake Erie Connector project as part of the Growth Plan. How will this investment help reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions?
That’s a fascinating project and a complex one. It provides a two-way highway for power, allowing Ontario’s clean energy producers to sell their power to the U.S. This is important, because emissions don’t recognize borders. The Connector also allows Ontario to buy American power in times of need, as determined by the regulator (Independent Electricity System Operator). This allows us to import clean power, instead of building back-up power sources. The most cost-efficient standby power is natural gas, but thanks to the Connector, we won’t have to rely on that emissions-intensive power source. This project is a win-win for all involved.
What other progress have you made since GLOBE Capital in terms of projects that reduce GHG emissions?
There is lots on the go. I’ll share the ones that are publicly announced to give you some sense of momentum. This is the second time in the last five months that we’ve had to schedule extra board meetings to approve projects, because they’re at that stage where they’re ready for investment. We recently approved an investment of up to $170 million in the Oneida Energy Storage project. Once completed, it will be the largest battery storage project in North America. The project will allow us to store energy that is produced at off-peak times and release it into the grid when demand is high. It will help Ontario reduce GHG emissions by 4.1 million tonnes, or the equivalent of taking 40,000 cars off the road every year. We’re also pleased that the Six Nations of the Grand River Development Corp., a First Nations group, are 50% equity participants in the project.
Other projects we’ve announced include an investment with Algoma Steel Inc. in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.—up to $220 million to retrofit their operations and phase out coal-fired steelmaking processes. This electricity-based process is expected to reduce GHG emissions by over 3 million metric tonnes per year by 2030. We also recently announced an investment in zero-emission buses with the City of Ottawa—up to $400 million to help purchase approximately 450 buses. This a key initiative to help the city achieve its goal of reducing GHG emissions in its operations by 100% by 2040. We’re seeing lots of interest across the country in electric buses. The pandemic has drastically reduced public transit use, so many municipalities are revising their capital plans. This is where CIB can help. When it comes to sustainability, there is often a gap between the right thing to do and financial support. CIB can help bridge that gap. We can offer capital at an under-market rate of return to make green infrastructure more feasible.
In the race to achieve net zero by 2050, how do we overcome the challenges of political cycles and changing visions and priorities? How do we select the right projects that will maximize economic, environmental, and societal benefits?
Our entire team is very outcomes-focused. Those high-level outcomes are: reducing GHG emissions, connecting Canadians (i.e. broadband and transit), closing the Indigenous infrastructure gap, and improving GDP and jobs. We’re very methodical in choosing projects to invest in and keeping these outcomes top of mind. For example, with our retrofits program, we offer an interest rate between 1 and 3%. The greater the GHG reductions from the retrofit, the lower the interest rate. We want to incentivize people to go deeper.
2050 is less than 30 years away. Looking ahead, what do you see as the biggest challenge and the biggest opportunity in clean infrastructure?
It’s always going to be a challenge to compete with other government programs for scarce tax dollars. I think a lot of us could sit around a table and come up with a list of all the great things we would love for our society to have, but there’s a sprinkling of reality that needs to happen in terms of costs and resources. The challenge is building a consensus around which infrastructure projects to build and finding creative ways to fund them.
Another opportunity is to synchronize the sticks and carrots of government regulation. Carbon pricing is absolutely critical, but it can’t be the only lever. We need to also provide affordable capital.
The other obvious opportunity is broadband. You asked me if I’ve ever heard so much mention of infrastructure? The answer is probably yes. Have I ever heard so much mention of the importance of a broadband network? No, I don’t think I have. The pandemic has shown us that internet access is vital. This isn’t just about YouTube and Netflix. For some remote communities, this is vital for access to healthcare and education.
I truly believe there are some silver threads of good that have come from the pandemic. Increased broadband is one of them. We’re ready to build on that.
For more insights on the road to 2050, join our Destination Net Zero Events:
ENERGY AND TRANSPORTATION DAYS
Sept 28-29, 2021 | Virtual | Complimentary
NATURE AND BIOECONOMY DAYS
Nov 23-24, 2021 | Virtual | Complimentary
Mar 29-31, 2022 | Host Hub: Vancouver Convention Centre West | Virtual Programming | Partner Hubs Across Canada
Sign up for our email list to be the first to register.
GLOBE Advance 2021: Scaling Cleantech in Canada – Summary Report
As Canadian governments and corporations commit to net zero by 2050 targets, accelerating market deployment of clean solutions has become an increasingly urgent imperative. Building on insights gained from GLOBE Advance 2020, the Scaling Cleantech in Canada session hosted at GLOBE Capital 2021 focused on the barriers impeding cleantech deployment, solutions, and leadership.
In partnership with Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and sponsored by Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Canada (Foresight) and the Natural Gas Innovation Fund (NGIF), GLOBE Series and The Delphi Group engaged 70 workshop participants and speakers from Tourmaline, Intelligent City, Foresight, and ERA to discuss key barriers, best practices, and lessons learned in deploying and scaling cleantech in Canada.
The partners and sponsors involved in this initiative hope that this summary supports advancing scaling and deployment of cleantech in Canada and welcome any stakeholder feedback. Stay tuned for the next outcomes-oriented installment of Scaling Cleantech in Canada at GLOBE Forum 2022!
Q&A with Andrea Brecka, GM Retail, Director & Vice President, Shell Canada
With over 1,300 Shell stations in Canada, filling up under that bright red and yellow sign is a weekly ritual for many Canadians. It’s also one of the activities that generates the most carbon emissions—a quarter of Canada’s carbon footprint is attributed to transportation. Consumers know this and they’re continuing to demand new solutions to reduce their emissions. As GM of Shell’s retail fuels division in Canada, Andrea Brecka leads the company’s efforts to put the customer first. We caught up with her to learn more about how Shell is investing in innovation to transform what it means to “fill ‘er up”.
You have joined the Canadian government, 100 other countries and many of the world’s largest corporations in committing to net-zero emissions by 2050. To achieve this target on a global scale, the latest International Energy Agency report recommends no new oil and gas developments. What does a net-zero future mean for Shell?
Climate change is a very urgent challenge and tackling it requires a fundamental transformation of the global economy, including the energy system. That’s why Shell has stepped forward to set a net-zero-by-2050 target in lockstep with society’s progress and the Paris Agreement.
How will we do that? We’ve identified six levers to help Shell and our customers decarbonize:
- Reducing emissions in our operations.
- Shifting to natural gas.
- Growing a low-carbon power business to provide more renewable electricity and electric vehicle charging points.
- Providing low-carbon fuels, such as biofuels or hydrogen.
- Developing carbon capture and storage, which we’ve already started in Canada.
- Using natural carbon sinks like forests to absorb greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of the IEA conclusions, they’re based on scenarios and, therefore the demand and supply modeling varies. Shell’s oil production peaked in 2019. Further, we don’t foresee any frontier explorations beyond 2025. All to say, this net-zero commitment is critical for Shell.
I understand Shell Canada has taken steps to reduce Scope 3 emissions. Could you share more about this strategy and why it’s important?
Absolutely. I think it’s fundamentally important that everybody understands what we mean by Scope 1, 2, and 3. We define Scope 1 and 2 as the emissions generated from the extraction and production of the energy products we sell. Scope 3 emissions are generated by the end use of these products. Many people are surprised that more than 90% of Shell’s emissions are Scope 3. The other element that people may not know is that Shell sells many products from other companies, including energy products. In fact, we sell more than three times the energy we produce ourselves. This is why it’s significant that Shell has chosen a commitment to reduce Scope 3 emissions.
I’ll share an example of how we’re helping our customers reduce emissions. Last year, we were the very first fuels retailer in Canada to launch a Drive Carbon Neutral program for our customers to help offset emissions from fuel purchases. Most recently, we’ve announced that carbon-neutral lubricants will be available to customers in key markets, including Canada. This program will offset approximately 700,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
Tell us more about your new carbon-neutral driving offer.
For a number of years, many customers have been telling us they’re interested in reducing their carbon footprint, but an electric vehicle (EV) is not an option at this time. The Drive Carbon Neutral program helps them have an impact even if they don’t own an EV. It’s very simple to participate: from now until Sept. 7, when customers opt in via the Shell EasyPay app, Shell will offset the emissions from their fuel purchase. It’s a great experience and I highly encourage all our customers to participate.
Alternatively, customers can come inside the store at participating locations and pay 2 cents per litre to offset their emissions. What happens after that? Shell purchases independently verified carbon credits that are generated from either Canadian or international projects designed to protect or restore the natural landscape.
I’m happy to say that, since the launch of this program, we have offset approximately 15 million litres of fuel. The customer feedback is overwhelmingly positive. We’re continuing to evolve the offer and there will be more to come later this year. Stay tuned!
Consumer demand for alternative fuels is growing. How is Shell supporting innovation to meet that demand?
As I referenced earlier, it’s important to be in lockstep with customer demands. In Canada, I’m proud to say that we’ve not only embraced, but I feel like we embody the energy transition. In the last five years, we have transitioned our business from heavy oil to natural gas, we’ve implemented carbon capture and storage here in Alberta, and we continue to do more and more with respect to lower-carbon fuels and renewables. We’re also making a much wider range of lower-carbon products available, such as biofuels and hydrogen, while also increasing the number of charge points for battery electric vehicles.
To give a hydrogen example, Shell has partnered with a hydrogen technology and energy company called HTEC to build two hydrogen refueling stations in the greater Vancouver area. On the biofuels side, there are a couple of innovation examples. We have a 40% interest in the $875 million commercial-scale Varennes carbon recycling plant—the first ever waste-to-low-carbon-fuels plant in Quebec. Secondly, Shell Ventures has made an equity investment in Forge Hydrocarbons Corporation to build a first-of-its-kind $30 million commercial-scale biofuel production plant in Ontario. We’ve also acquired Greenlots, an EV solutions provider, and we will be building EV charging stations across Canada and in the U.S. These are just a few examples of investments Shell has made to advance innovation and accelerate progress.
It’s 2030. I pull into a Shell station. What does it look like?
I think the future retail station will have a mosaic of solutions. Certainly, when you think about the kinds of fueling offers, EV, hydrogen, and biofuels will be standard. We will build future retail stations to be carbon neutral, perhaps taking advantage of solar panels or geothermal power. Lastly, I think about our customers. We have a vision to provide an oasis within the store. In 2030, we’ll have great lounge areas with wifi for people to connect or catch up on some work. In addition to the foods and beverages we have now, we’ll also offer healthier solutions for our customers. We think of our retail stations as not just fueling vehicles, but fueling bodies and minds.
How is Shell addressing calls for a just transition? And as a former president of Shell Canada’s Women’s Network, what role do you see for diversity and inclusion as we transition to a clean economy?
I’m proud to say that when Shell looks at projects like LNG in new areas, we work hard to get to know the communities. That means understanding the community’s wants, meeting its workforce, and addressing local partnerships in a way that’s fair, just, and inclusive.
In my work in the retail business last year, we launched the Fuel Service app. For most of us, fueling your car is a seamless experience, but for some individuals with disabilities, it can be daunting. To address that challenge, we partnered with Fuel Service. Now, individuals have the ability to call ahead and see if a retail station is able to assist them in their fueling.
I’ve worked with Shell for almost three decades. One of the reasons I’ve been here as long as I have is because Shell believes in and takes action on diversity, inclusion, and equity. Even in the last year, Shell is going through a major reorganization and we’ve made a very intentional effort to ensure our leadership team is diverse. This has been wonderful. Everybody wants role models to look up to. Diversity means better quality decisions and better business outcomes.
If you could invite three people, either alive today or no longer with us, to a conversation about the future of energy in Canada, who would they be?
I love this question. I thought long and hard about it. One would be Brian Mulroney. I saw him speak at a Pollution Probe gala last year and in his speech, he said “Successful leaders do not impose unpopular ideas on the public. They make unpopular ideas acceptable to the nation, and that takes courage.” When I think about his legacy of really tackling tough environmental challenges and what he’s been able to accomplish, it’s very inspiring. I would love to ask him how he managed the many challenges and different stakeholders to ultimately make progress.
I also thought about Generation Z and my two young adult daughters. When I think about that generation and what’s important to them, I would love to start a conversation about what they think about companies like Shell. How do they see us playing a role in tackling climate change? I’d love to just listen to their perspectives and have a debate.
Lastly, Elon Musk is a pioneer and a visionary. He’s courageous, bold, and willing to fail fast to make progress. Wow. For a company like Shell that’s undertaking transformational changes, learning from someone who is willing to take a risk to commercialize ideas would be fascinating.
GLOBE Capital Q&A: Jonathan Fowlie, Chief External Relations Officer, Vancity Credit Union
“We must work towards a climate transition that puts people at its centre and leaves no one behind,” Vancity proclaims as part of its commitment to net-zero by 2040. After a year when our environment and social safety nets were tested like never before, this approach seems very timely. Jonathan Fowlie, Chief External Relations Officer, Vancity Credit Union, joined No One Left Behind: How We Build a Just Transition to the Net-Zero Economy at GLOBE Capital to discuss the role of financial institutions in supporting a just transition. We caught up with Mr. Fowlie to learn more about how Vancity has integrated an equity lens into its climate commitments.
Tell us more about Vancity’s net-zero commitments.
We’ve recently released five commitments on climate action and climate justice that take a holistic approach to how we as a financial institution can respond to the climate emergency. It starts with decarbonization and getting our lending portfolio to net-zero. We’re also working to enable responsible investments that create a clean and fair future. This past year has exemplified how a global event can widen the systemic gaps in our economy. The climate emergency is having and could have a similar impact. We’re applying this systemic view to climate change to anticipate community and economic impacts.
Earlier this year, Vancity became the first financial institution in Canada to make a commitment to net-zero emissions by 2040 across your full lending portfolio. To ensure success, you’ve gone one step further by also committing to regular targets on the road to 2040—the first of which will be in 2025. How will you set that 2025 target?
In its most basic form, Vancity was carbon neutral across our operations in 2008. We know we can have a much greater impact on reducing emissions by extending this commitment to what we finance, i.e. the loans we give people to buy homes or start businesses. Our 2025 target will aim to reduce these finance-related emissions.
The first step is understanding the carbon footprint of our loans. If you have a Vancity mortgage on your house, what are your emissions and how do we record that? Our most recent annual report discloses the emissions that we estimate to be associated with our loans. The next step, which we’re undertaking right now, is a rigorous science-based process to understand Vancity’s pathway to net zero with that inclusive lens in mind. Once we identify that pathway, we’ll engage government to ensure we’re aligning with current regulations. Then, we’ll be ready to publicly commit to targets that are aggressive, achievable, and science-based.
What actions is Vancity taking to incorporate equity into its climate work and why do you think it’s important that we include equity in climate finance conversations?
Getting to net zero is important. How we get there is essential. As I mentioned earlier, the pandemic has shown us the impact a global event can have on marginalized communities. We also saw how a financial institution like Vancity can immediately meet those needs. We have a history of financial inclusion—of trying to serve the underserved. That approach has become all the more relevant during the pandemic.
For example, on Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, health restrictions have interrupted a lot of the services that residents rely on. In the first months of the pandemic, various levels of government introduced new and increased benefits to support the safety and well-being of vulnerable and hard-hit individuals. As a financial institution, our role is to form a bridge between the resources being made available and the people who need to access them.
Our Pigeon Park Savings branch was the only financial institution in the Downtown Eastside that stayed open during the height of the pandemic. We see this as an illustration of financial inclusion and how it can ensure systemic gaps aren’t widened in extreme situations.
We’re taking the same approach to the climate emergency with a view to ensuring the transition to a clean economy will be equitable and just. That means talking a little bit less about decarbonization and climate and more about understanding existing inequities and of course, including marginalized communities in that conversation.
When it comes to the just transition, what do you think is the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is ensuring the transition is just. What do I mean by that? We’re at a place where we look ahead to the effects of climate change and we’re still not entirely clear on the questions we need to ask, the things we need to measure, and the actions we need to take. Some are apparent, but some, as we saw during the pandemic, emerge as secondary and tertiary issues. How do we ensure we can adjust and be flexible?
Conversely, the biggest opportunity is to re-imagine our economy. How can we shift, innovate, create leaders, and form the jobs of tomorrow? We’ll need to consider the skillsets of people across our economy. Part of that is considering the workforce that will need to transition from a job that might not exist 10 years from now into a job that is driving innovation. It’s also about creating opportunities that make our economy more equitable and inclusive.
When you ask people: do you think there needs to be a fundamental change towards an economy that is cleaner and fairer? Unanimously, you get a yes. It’s not at all clear exactly what that future looks like, but that consensus creates an opportunity to chart a new path.
How can financial institutions take a leadership role in the just transition?
Financial institutions like credit unions and banks make crucial decisions every day about where money goes, what gets funded, and who benefits. So, we have a crucial role to play in determining the future economy and frankly the future of our planet. Accordingly, there are a number of questions that all financial institutions should be asking: Are we just offsetting climate impacts? Are we working to avoid them in the first place? How are we measuring the changes to our balance sheet in a rigorous way that ensures transparency? Finally, how do we ensure that the actions we are taking are leading towards an economy that is both clean and fair? I strongly believe that we have an obligation to understand the impacts of our decisions on where to allocate capital, because those who have the least to do with causing climate change in the first place are those who will be impacted the most and who will have the least available resources to adapt. We have a unique opportunity right now to learn from the past and explore what it means to truly build back better.
If you could ask the GLOBE Capital community to take one action, what would it be?
I’d ask the GLOBE Capital community to bring an equity lens to every action they take on climate. For example, when you’re looking at climate risk across a portfolio of buildings, consider the demographics of the locations and local people’s ability to adapt. Considering equity means asking: are there choices that we can make today to ensure we’re not only protecting our investments against climate risk, but we’re also fostering equity and resilience? It goes back to the premise that yes, we need to decarbonize. We could do that overnight by just stopping funding a variety of activities, but that’s neither practical nor will it lead to an equitable economy and society. So, we need to ensure we’re inviting everyone into the conversation and framing that conversation in a way where everyone, particularly marginalized communities, can see themselves reflected.