Five minutes with IGCC CEO, Emma Herd

24 Sep 2019

In business and politics, there’s been a lot of conversation recently about how to ramp up action against climate change. Emma Herd, Chief Executive Officer at the Investor Group on Climate Change provides insight into how the upcoming IGCC Summit will aim to pave a pathway for effective change.

What will this year’s IGCC Summit aim to address?

Against a backdrop of heightened urgency, a changed policy landscape and more investor action on climate, the Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) 2019 Summit will address climate change risks and opportunities of climate change for investors.

The theme of this year's summit is Catalysing Action on Climate Change, and will bring together leading experts and market practitioners from science, business, energy, policy, investment and finance sectors. We will look at the implications of climate change for policy and investment practice and unpack the latest and next generation of investor practice.

How can transitioning to a circular economy help mitigate the impacts of climate change?

Reduced resource consumption and increased resource efficiency are all part of tackling climate change. Getting smarter about how we use and consume is critical.  Whether it is energy, water or waste, moving to a circular economy will help get global emissions down while also providing broader environmental benefits.  

The IGCC has been instrumental in helping Australia’s property sector embrace sustainability – what do you think are some of the key opportunities for the sector at this point in time?

Our research shows that investors are increasingly looking for climate-aligned investment alternatives and that the property sector is widely considered an attractive asset class for climate-aligned capital. The integration of climate change into investor practice highlights a huge opportunity for the property sector, and an area that could have huge long term impact. It is also worth considering the risks associated from not acknowledging the physical risks the property sector faces from climate change. The need for adaptation and to build resilience is clear and a necessity.

What about some of the challenges?

Finding climate aligned deals with the right risk-return profile, and with the size and scale required for institutional investors remains challenging. Data availability and how best to measure outcomes is also a key area of focus. Dealing with physical risk and resilience is a core priority in the immediate term.

We are less than 4 weeks out from the summit, and are excited for the insight and diverse content we will cover across the 2 days. With Climate Week taking place in New York next week and increased momentum from companies and businesses, there is no better time to look at what investors can do to accelerate their response to climate change.

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