VIDEO: Chief executive of the government-backed, banker-led organisation chats to BusinessGreen's James Murray about the rapidly shifting world of green finance
Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas is chief executive of the Green Finance Institute (GFI), an independent organisation established in 2019 as a result of recommendations made by the Green Finance Taskforced convened by the UK government.
Sitting at the nexus of the public and private sectors, the GFI is a commercially-focused organisation, backed by the government and led by bankers, which brings together global experts with the aim of overcoming barriers to greener financial markets and investment in the UK's net zero transition.
A fluent Welsh speaker with a PhD in physics, Thomas has led the GFI since its inception, having spent 20 years in banking at Barclays where she held a succession of leadership roles, and was instrumental in developing and launching a suite of green financial products and services for the company.
However, as Thomas explains, she is a relative newcomer to the world of green finance, having recognised when the Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015 that this served up monumental risks and opportunities for the investment world, and indeed the planet.
In a fascinating discussion with BusinessGreen editor in chief James Murray, Thomas explains her own long-held interests in environmentalism, how and why the financial world has rapidly shifted its thinking towards ESG and climate risk over the past five years, and the role of the GFI in helping to put climate at the heart of financial decision making and unlock investment in real economy outcomes. The conversation can be watched in full above.
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