Emma Howard Boyd confirmed as interim chair of Green Finance Institute

The Green Finance Institute (GFI) has announced that the Environment Agency's chair Emma Howard Boyd CBE has been appointed as interim chair at the institute, following the passing of Sir Roger Gifford in May.

Emma Howard Boyd confirmed as interim chair of Green Finance Institute

Howard Boyd will help oversee the GFI’s work in the build-up to the COP26 climate summit this November in Glasgow

Howard Boyd is stepping into the role as interim chair with immediate effect and will work with the GFI’s board to help appoint someone to a permanent position which will likely be finalised in early 2022.

Howard Boyd takes over the role previously held by Sir Gifford, who passed away aged 65 and was a leading figure in green finance, having chaired the GFI in 2018 and more recently sat on the advisory panel for the Dasgupta Review on the Economics of Biodiversity.

He also served as Lord Mayor of London in 2013 and was an elected member of the City of London Corporation as alderman for the ward of Cordwainer.

Howard Boyd will help oversee the GFI’s work in the build-up to the COP26 climate summit this November in Glasgow.

“Sir Roger’s work to help investors address the greatest challenge of our time has never been more important and I am committed to helping the Green Finance Institute continue his legacy,” Howard Boyd said.

“In the last month alone, we have seen fatal heat in Canada, devastating floods in Germany and a climate-induced famine in Madagascar, the GFI can help investors understand the opportunity in creating a more resilient global economy for all. The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said he wants the financial sector to play a central role in delivering the UK’s net-zero target and ambition for a ‘nature positive’ future. The Green Finance Institute will help show the way.”

In 2019, Howard Boyd was reappointed as the chair of the Environment Agency (EA), with her second term set to run until September 2022.

Howard Boyd was first appointed EA chair in September 2016 and also sits on the Defra board. She has previously held positions at the Aldersgate Group and Future Cities Catapult in recent years.

Advisory board

The GFI has also confirmed the names of its new advisory board, which will provide strategic advice and support for the Institute

Alongside Howard Boyd, Lord Nicholas Stern, chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, London School of Economics, the Bank of England’s executive director for financial stability Sarah Breeden and The Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) chief executive Fiona Reynolds have all joined the board.

Cambridge Zero’s director Dr Emily Shuckburgh, the FCA’s executive director of consumers and competition Sheldon Mills, senior climate advisor James Cameron and chair of Impact Investing Platform Nicholas Hurd have also joined the board.

Commenting on the new appointments. Dr Rhian Mari-Thomas OBE, chief executive of the GFI, said: “We are delighted to welcome Emma as our Interim Chair and all the members of our Advisory Board in what is a critical year for green finance. COP26 in November provides a crucial moment to make real progress on mobilising capital towards tackling climate change, protecting nature and biodiversity, and creating a just post-Covid-19 recovery.

“At the GFI, we take a ruthlessly practical approach to meeting these challenges, bringing the public, private and philanthropic sectors together to co-create, deploy and scale the solutions and mechanisms needed to unblock exponential growth in green finance at a sector, domestic and international level. The immense experience in green finance and environmental leadership Emma and the Advisory Board members bring to the GFI will be key to ensure we continue to channel capital at pace and scale towards real economy outcomes that create jobs and increase prosperity for all.”

Matt Mace

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