8 November 2021

Investing with a climate lens with the Philanthropic Leadership Platform: India-Europe

The third webinar of the first edition of the Philanthropic Leadership Platform: India-Europe, undertaken in partnership with the Asian Venture Philanthropy Association (AVPN), took place on the 26 October. The discussion was moderated by Vinit Rishi, Director of Administration, Oak Foundation who guided the discussion between the two speakers. It consisted of 18 participants from across Europe and India, who were able to learn but also discussing adopting a climate lens in the area of philanthropy. Both speakers presented on whether and how they develop investment products that align to or contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 13 (Climate Action).

Theo Mitchell, Head of U.K. and Europe, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), discussed some of the outcomes that would be welcomed from the upcoming UN Climate Change (COP26) Summit in Glasgow from both a UK and Europe perspective. Recognising the tense geopolitical environment going into the talks, Theo spoke of CIFF’s five main objectives in relation to the deliverables of the summit. In addition, in light of this week’s G20 meeting, he expressed his wish to see more ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to help raise the ambition in cutting emissions to meet the 2030 targets. In terms of products that have been invested in, Theo mentioned that CIFF funds a partner called the Climate Bonds Initiative as part of the Europe programme. Although acknowledging that progress had been made on green finance, he noted that transition finance has often been overlooked. Therefore, CIFF are currently exploring how to further define the transition bond market with this partner. On the topic of the just social transition, Theo highlighted that this is a core principle for all Europe investments. In particular, he noted work that had been carried out with unions via the European Climate Foundation.

Shirish Sinha, Climate Director, CIFF, having been asked the same questions as Theo, echoed many of the points that Theo made. Regarding the outcomes of the upcoming COP26 Summit, he gave his expectations from an Indian perspective. He explained that there is a growing agreement in India that a long-term strategy for climate action is needed, considering the fragilities of the South Asian region. Subject to cabinet approval, India will present a revised NDC at the COP26 Summit. Shirish also expects India to take leadership in some sectoral actions at the summit. Regarding products that CIFF have invested in, he clarified that, for now, technical assistance has been provided instead; in the energy sector, to name an example. CIFF have cooperated with the International Solar Alliance, which works on creating the enabling environment for more sustainable energy. On the just social transition, a framework has been developed, which covers various sectors of the economy. This is based on what has been seen elsewhere in the world, for example with the transition away from coal.

The discussion between Theo and Shirish was then followed by a short Q&A, allowing the participants the chance to ask the speakers questions directly as well as clarifications. The latter part of the webinar consisted of two break-out rooms, which allowed the PLP fellows to discuss and elaborate on two questions, the conclusions being then fed back to everyone at the end of the session.

For more information contact Sevda Kilicalp.