Cities are where we can pioneer new cycles of net zero investment, bringing together revised urban utilities and infrastructures such as energy, waste, water, and mobility, with reformed land use, property and built environment, and a revolution in citizen behaviour change towards carbon frugality. City leaders have been in the vanguard of taking action against the damaging impacts of climate change. In the UK, local partnerships have been formed around ‘climate emergencies’, identifying and implementing programmes of work. Such programmes are becoming more integrated within city economic recovery plans, recognition that the green economy will both produce some of the quickest impacts and achieve the most long-lasting benefits.
Despite this heightened activity, the investment case for net zero paths for cities remains poorly developed. The barriers to investment lie not in the gross availability of finance, but rather the ability to create robust business cases and investment models, that address issues of scale, longevity and confidence. Through dialogue with the investment community, it is clear that such business cases will be strengthened where the plans of cities can be brought together, generating greater scale, volume, and predictability, thereby creating a more attractive and substantial proposition for investors.
Core Cities, London Councils and the Connected Places Catapult have jointly established the UK Cities Climate Investment Commission to address this deficit head-on. Using our collective networks and capabilities we are seeking to leverage the combined scale of cities to mobilise finance and drive investment into low and netzero carbon projects across all of the UK’s largest cities, rather than individual ones.
Who Should Attend:
Connected Places Catapult
Greg is Global Head of Future Cities & New Industries at HSBC Group where he leads the bank’s work on cities and mobility with its global client base in 63 countries and 300 cities. He is also a member of the board of Transport for London and chairman of TfL’s Investment and Programmes Committee. He is member of the World Economic Forum Future Council on Cities & Urbanisation, and the Cities Council of Bloomberg New Economy Forum. Greg joined CPC as chair in May 2020.
Glasgow City Council
Susan Aitken has been Leader of Glasgow City Council since May 2017 and is the first SNP Leader of the Council. For her work to deliver equal pay justice for thousands of women in the city, she was awarded Scottish Local Government Politician of the Year.
Under her leadership Glasgow has been named the host of COP26, a Global Green City, and the European Capital of Sport for 2023.
London Borough of Hounslow
Niall Bolger is Chief Executive for the London Borough of Hounslow. In addition to these duties, he is also Lead CEO for Skills and Employment for the West London Alliance, Chair of the London PREVENT Board and lead CEO for Environment and Climate Change for the Chief Executive London Committee. He was the SOLACE spokesperson for Commissioning and Innovation from 2018 – 2020. Niall is also a Trustee for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies.
Centre for Cities
Andrew became Chief Executive of the Centre in April 2017. Before that he was the Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Policy and Research with overall responsibility for the Centre’s research and policy programme.
Andrew has over 20 years of experience working on urban economic policy issues for public and private development agencies, consultants and research institutes. He has also spent time in the US as part of the Churchill Foundation’s Fellowship Programme reviewing urban economic development policy and practice in American cities including New York, Washington DC, Boston and Chicago. He is a regular media contributor and chairs and speaks at conferences across the UK and Europe on a wide range of urban and economic issues.
Executive Director, Investment
Grosvenor Britain & Ireland
Rachel leads the Investment team in Grosvenor Britain & Ireland with responsibility for scaling our investment portfolio across the UK through direct investment and partnerships.
She oversees the management of existing projects including Grosvenor’s Strategic Land portfolio, Liverpool ONE and the Bermondsey development, as well as the new investment strategy.
Rachel joined Grosvenor from Legal & General where she was an Investment Director in the Future Cities business, leading the Urban Regeneration team. Here she was responsible for sourcing, structuring and investment management of real estate projects and partnerships including Cardiff Central Square, Newcastle Helix, Bruntwood SciTech and a joint venture with Oxford University.
Prior to that, Rachel held various asset and portfolio management positions across the UK and Europe at CBRE Investors and Tishman Speyer respectively.
Head of ESG
LGIM Real Assets
Shuen is Head of ESG at LGIM Real Assets. Shuen brings 25 years of experience and a successful track record in capital markets and asset management with a specialisation in responsible investing (ESG), climate change and impact investing.
She was previously co-founder of a purpose-driven ESG advisory firm that helped institutional investors build the case for sustainable investments and the transition to a low carbon economy and society. Prior to that, she helped to establish a climate focused investment firm focused on achieving climate mitigation goals through the nature-based solutions. This work led to an investment and management of the world’s largest emission reduction forest project.
Shuen was previously a founding team member of one of the fastest growing credit asset management firms in Europe, European Credit Management (ECM) now part of Wells Fargo Asset Management, where she was Head of Structured Product Origination. Shuen’s early career was with debt capital markets teams at Deutsche Bank, Macquarie and HSBC across Asia and Europe.
Shuen currently serves on the CFA ESG Advisory panel and is also a co-author of the new CFA ESG certification. She is also an independent trustee of The Lightbulb Trust, a foundation that supports the education and literacy sector through grant giving and impact investing. Shuen has been a guest tutor on climate change at Oxford University Saïd Business School on their Executive Impact Investing programme. Until recently, she also served on the Oversight Committee for Pensions for Purpose.