sustainableinnvestmentforum

26 September 2018

Financing the Low Carbon Transition for a Sustainable Future

Official Affiliate Event

The Sustainable Investment Forum North America, held in partnership with UNEP Finance Initiative, is the premier meeting space for sustainable finance professionals during Climate Week NYC.

Back for its 3rd edition in September 2018, the forum will welcome over 300 attendees representing asset owners and managers, banks, development institutions, policymakers, think tanks and NGOs looking to drive the sustainability agenda.

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Featured Speakers
speakers
Betty Yee

State Controller, California

State Controller Betty T. Yee was elected in November 2014, following two terms of service on the California Board of Equalization. As Controller, she continues to serve the Board as its fifth voting member.

Ms. Yee was first elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 where she represented 21 counties in northern and central California. She was elected to her second four-year term in 2010.

Now serving as the state’s chief fiscal officer, Ms. Yee also chairs the Franchise Tax Board and serves as a member of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) Boards. These two boards have a combined portfolio of nearly $500 billion. Ms. Yee also serves on the Ceres Board of Directors, a nonprofit organization working to mobilize many of the world’s largest investors to advance global sustainability and take stronger action on climate change.

Ms. Yee serves on dozens of boards and commissions with authority ranging from land management to crime victim compensation. As a member of the State Lands Commission (and chairperson in even-numbered years), she helps provide stewardship of public-trust lands, waterways, industrial wharves, marine terminals, pipelines, and resources through economic development, protection, preservation, and restoration consistent with the state’s environmental needs. The development and extraction of oil, gas, and geothermal resources are part of the Commission’s purview, as well. Through other financing authorities, Ms. Yee is dedicated to creating incentives that will increase the number of affordable housing units in California, given that demand consistently outpaces supply.

Ms. Yee has over 30 years of experience in public service, specializing in state and local finance and tax policy. Ms. Yee previously served as Chief Deputy Director for Budget with the California Department of Finance where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analyses of legislation on behalf of the Administration. Prior to this, she served in senior staff positions for several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the California State Legislature. She also cofounded the Asian Pacific Youth Leadership Project, which exposes California high school youth to the public service, public policy, and political arenas.

A native of San Francisco, Ms. Yee received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and she holds a master’s degree in public administration.

speakers
Christiana Figueres

Convenor, Mission2020

Ms. Figueres is an internationally recognized leader on global climate change. She was Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016. Assuming responsibility for the international climate change negotiations after the failed Copenhagen conference of 2009, she was determined to lead the process to a universally agreed regulatory framework. Building toward that goal, she directed the successful Conferences of the Parties in Cancun 2010, Durban 2011, Doha 2012, Warsaw 2013, and Lima 2014, and culminated her efforts in the historical Paris Agreement of 2015. Throughout her tenure Ms. Figueres brought together national and sub national governments, corporations and activists, financial institutions and communities of faith, think tanks and technology providers, NGOs and parliamentarians, to jointly deliver the unprecedented climate change agreement. For this achievement Ms. Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.

She is currently the convener of Mission 2020, a global initiative that seeks to ensure the world bends the curve on greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 in order to protect the most vulnerable from the worst impacts of climate change and usher in an era of stability and prosperity.

Her corporate engagements include:

  • Non Executive Board member of ACCIONA
  • Co-chair of the Advisory Committee of Formula E
  • Advisory Board member of ENI
  • Fellow of DeepMind

Ms. Figueres non profit engagements span:

  • Vice Chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors
  • Member of the Commission on the Global Consequences of Renewable Energy Transformation
  • Climate Leader for the World Bank
  • Distinguished Fellow of Conservation International
  • Board member of Climate Works
  • Board member of the World Resources Institute
  • Member of the Rockefeller Foundation Economic Council on Planetary Health
  • B Team Leader
  • Ambassador of the Under 2 Coalition
  • Chair of the Lancet Countdown High Level Advisory Board

Recognition from governments

  • Great Cross of the Order of Merit of Germany 1985
  • Legion of Honor of France 2015
  • Grand Medal of the City of Paris 2015
  • National Guayacan Medal of Costa Rica 2016
  • Officer in the Order of Orange-Nassau of The Netherlands 2016

Recognition from civil society

  • Ewald von Kleist Award from the Munich Security Conference 2015
  • Solar Champion Award from California’s Vote Solar 2016
  • British Renewable Energy Judges Award 2016 from the Renewable Energy Association
  • Power with Purpose 2016 Award from Devex and McKinnsey 2016
  • Joan Bavaria Award from CERES 2016
  • CK Prahalad Award from the Corporate Eco Forum 2016
  • Global Leaders by the Talberg Foundation 2016
  • Manuel de Maria Peralta Prize International Law 2017
  • Shackleton Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society 2017
  • CARE Millennium Award 2017
  • Distinguished Leadership Award BCSE 2017 2017
  • Aenne Burda Award 2018
  • Laureate International Four Freedoms Award 2018
  • President’s Medal, Architectural League of New York, 2018
  • 2018 Women In Green Forum Trailblazer Award and Care2 Impact Award, 2018

Recognition from press and journals

  • Medal of Honour from The Guardian 2015
  • Hero of El Pais newspaper of Spain 2015
  • Top 10 of Nature Journal of Science 2015
  • Global Thinker of Foreign Policy Magazine 2015
  • Number seven of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders Fortune Magazine 2016
  • Top 100 Time magazine Influential Leaders of the World 2016
  • One of the 5 most powerful women in science, BBC Mundo 2017

In the natural world, a newly discovered tropical moth (Struthoscelis christianafigueresae), a wasp (Pseudapanteles christianafigueresae) and an orchid (Vanilla karen-christianae) have been named after her. Costa Rica has recently issued a commemorative postage stamp in her honor.

She has a long trajectory in the field of global climate change, having been a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team 1995- 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCCC before formally joining the Secretariat.

She initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. Moving to the USA, she was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and in 1995 founded the non-profit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) which she directed for eight years.

She has an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, a Masters Degree in Anthropology from the London School of Economics, and a certificate in Organizational Development from Georgetown University. Ms. Figueres has received honorary doctorate degrees from University of Massachusetts Boston, Concordia University, Georgetown University, Cranfield University, and Warwick University. She is the mother of two daughters and speaks Spanish, English and German.

speakers
Elliott Harris

Assistant Secretary-General, UN and Chief Economist, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Mr. Harris brings over 25 years of international experience in the fields of international economics and development policy analysis, coupled with knowledge of the United Nations system, multilateral and inter–agency coordination processes.  He has extensive experience in the design of macroeconomic policies and its application as a central instrument for the reduction of poverty and for resilient and sustained economic development.  His work in the field of economics also focuses on the macroeconomic linkages with global social and environmental policies.

Since 2015, Mr. Harris has served as Assistant Secretary-General and Head of the New York Office of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).  He joined UNEP’s Senior Management Team in 2013 as Director of the New York Office and Secretary to the Environment Management Group.

Prior to joining UNEP, Mr. Harris began his career in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1988, where he worked in the African Department and the Fiscal Affairs Department.  In 2002 he became an Adviser in the Policy Development and Review Department, and was appointed in 2008 as Special Representative to the United Nations, in addition to serving as Assistant Director of the Strategy and Policy Review Department.

Mr. Harris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in German and political science and an advanced degree in economics.  He was awarded an Advanced Studies Certificate in international economics and policy research from the Institute of World Economics in Kiel, Germany.

speakers
Eric Usher

Head

Eric Usher brings twenty five years experience in the sustainable energy and finance sectors, including an entrepreneurial venture in Morocco, financial sector development across emerging markets and responsible investment uptake globally. Prior to heading the UNEP FI Secretariat in Geneva, Mr. Usher was responsible for a programme portfolio advancing new public/private instruments for financing cleaner energy infrastructure and improving energy access. He was seconded to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change for development of the Green Climate Fund, specifically the fund’s Private Sector Facility. Eric is co-editor and co-author of various studies examining the role of public and private finance in climate mitigation and was lead author for finance of the IPCC Special Report on Renewable Energy Sources.

Before joining UNEP, Eric was General Manager of a solar rural electrification company based in Marrakech. He holds an MBA from INSEAD, France, and a BSc in Electrical Engineering from Queen’s University, Canada.

speakers
Kurt Summers

Treasurer, City of Chicago

Kurt Summers is Chicago’s 70th Treasurer. A native son of Chicago, Treasurer Summers manages the city’s $8 billion investment portfolio and is responsible for maintaining records and accounts of the city’s finances. He sits on four local pension boards with nearly $25 billion under management.

Since taking office in December 2014, Treasurer Summers has utilized his private and public sector experience to ensure that the Office of the City Treasurer maximizes its value for Chicago’s residents. From generating $57 million in excess investment returns for the city’s portfolio to developing a fund that will drive economic growth in all 77 neighborhoods, Treasurer Summers is focused on leveraging the office’s resources to increase investments in Chicago’s residents, workers, businesses, and neighborhoods. Treasurer Summers is also focused on empowering Chicagoans through small business support and financial education programs, giving them the tools and opportunities they need to fulfill their potential.

Prior to serving as Chicago’s Treasurer, Summers was a Senior Vice President at Grosvenor Capital Management and a member of the Office of the Chairman. In that role, Summers was a leader of the Emerging and Diverse Manager business, which invested over $2 billion in minority- and women-owned firms.

Prior to his time at Grosvenor, Summers served as Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and as the appointed Trustee for the $9 billion Cook County Pension Fund. In that capacity, Summers led county-wide reforms to provide performance management in every department and to create a more sustainable health and hospital system. Summers also steered the closure of a $487 million budget deficit while keeping the administration’s promise to roll back the county sales tax, saving taxpayers more than $400 million a year.

Summers began his career at McKinsey & Company, a preeminent global strategy-consulting firm, and later served as Chief of Staff for Chicago 2016, the city’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Treasurer Summers is a lifelong Chicago resident and a graduate of Whitney Young High School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with Management Distinction High Honors from Washington University in St. Louis. He later earned a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School. He lives in Hyde Park with his wife, Helen, and their schnauzer, Boston.

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Patricia Fuller

Ambassador of Climate Change

Patricia Fuller holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Economics and Political Studies from Queen’s University, and a Master of Science with distinction from the London School of Economics. Throughout her career, Ms. Fuller has specialized in trade and economic policy, as well as climate change and energy. At Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, she served as Deputy Director for Trade Remedies (1997-1999), Director of the Softwood Lumber Division (2003-2004), Chief Economist (2007-2010), and Director General of Planning and Reporting (2010-2012). While working at Natural Resources Canada from 2015 to 2017, Ms. Fuller headed the Office of Energy Efficiency and contributed to the development of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. She also gained experience on environment and climate change files earlier in her career while working at the Privy Council Office and supporting the Cabinet Committee on Economic and Regional Development Policy from 2000 to 2003. Ms. Fuller served abroad as Ambassador of Canada to Uruguay from 2004 to 2007 and as Ambassador to Chile from 2012 to 2015. Previous international assignments also included Mexico and Guatemala. Most recently, she has been serving as Director General of Economic Development at Global Affairs Canada. Her responsibilities include oversight of Canada’s engagement with International financial institutions, as well as leadership for development assistance policy related to economic growth and governance. Ms. Fuller and her husband have two children.

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Pete Grannis

First Deputy Comptroller, State of New York

Pete Grannis, first deputy comptroller for the New York State Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), oversees the day-to-day activities of OSC’s divisions, which administers the New York State and Local Retirement Systems covering more than one million public employee members. In addition, he maintains the state’s accounting system and administers its $15 billion payroll; manages the state’s assets and issuing debt; reviews state contracts, audits state agencies and public benefit corporations; and oversees the fiscal affairs of local governments.

From 2007 to 2010, Mr. Grannis served as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. While leading the agency with over 3,500 employees and an annual budget of more than $1 billion, he positioned New York State as a global leader in the fight against climate change and championed a wide-ranging agenda for a cleaner, healthier environmental future for New York State’s citizens.

A state assembly member for 32 years, Mr. Grannis was a leading advocate for lobbying and ethics reforms and as chair of the Insurance and Housing Committees, his tenure in Albany was marked by significant victories.

Mr. Grannis’ legislative accomplishments have been recognized by numerous environmental, health, consumer, and good government advocacy organizations, including the first-ever recognition of a state legislator by the Consumer Federation of America.

Mr. Grannis is a graduate of Rutgers University and the University of Virginia School of Law.

speakers
Stan Magidson

Chair and Chief Executive Officer

Stan Magidson is Chair and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Alberta Securities Commission, and possesses extensive experience in corporate governance, mergers and acquisitions and securities law and regulation. Before joining the ASC in July 2016, he was President, CEO and director of the Institute of Corporate Directors and Chair of the Global Network of Director Institutes. Prior, Mr. Magidson was a partner for 21 years with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP where he advised corporate issuers, investors, financial intermediaries and boards of directors across the country on mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, securities law and corporate finance matters.

In 1999, he was seconded to the Ontario Securities Commission where he built the team that is primarily responsible for the securities regulation of take-over bids and M&A transactions in Canada.

Mr. Magidson currently serves on the international board of the Weizmann Institute of Science and the board of Weizmann Canada.

Mr. Magidson holds an LL.M in Corporate Law from New York University and an LL.B from the University of Ottawa

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Discussing ESG integration, climate resilience and mainstreaming disclosure
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