Climate Finance: Challenges and lessons for the future

Climate Finance : The New Frontier of Climate Change from University of Sussex on Vimeo.

Given that environmental, social and governance issues are now a major factor in investment, and that there is rapid growth in accounting and finance careers with a specific focus on sustainability, we have launched our Sustainable Finance and Accounting MSc. We are one of only a few universities and business schools across the UK and Europe offering this as a subject.

International Conference | Industry & Policy Perspectives

Date: Monday 15 & Tuesday 16 November 2021 

Time: 14:00 - 17:35 GMT

Venue: Online

Conference Chairs: Professor Meryem Duygun, University of Nottingham, and Professor Radu Tunaru, University of Sussex

Climate finance has been at the forefront of discussions amongst academics and practitioners for a while. The COVID-19 pandemic sharpened the focus and pushed for swifter responses from academia, financial institutions and regulators.

Following the success of its workshop on Climate Finance and Economics, the University of Sussex Business School joined forces with the University of Nottingham to co-organise a two-day online conference on climate finance that explored the key developments within the financial and capital markets industry. The conference featured keynote speeches, presentations and panel discussions, with some of the top players in the industry and policy-making, discussing key market trends, new products and emerging technologies and the challenges for regulators, investors, companies and governments. During the Q&A and the discussion that followed each talk, attendees had the opportunity to debate how climate finance can have a positive impact on sustainability and the environment.

This conference aimed to tackle crucial questions by bringing together experts from across the climate finance world, including investment banks and regulators. The event was open to everyone interested in the rapid developments in climate finance. The conference provided participants with unique insights into the current processes in leading institutions, strategic considerations, product development and regulatory challenges that will be central in governing climate finance over the next decade.

Conference Speakers

  • Lucia Alessi, Responsible for Sustainable Finance Research, European Commission
  • Lisa Cycon, Project Manager, Commerz Business Consulting GmbH, Commerzbank AG
  • Anna Georgieva, Associate Principal, Sustainable Investment, Qontigo
  • Susanne GløersenDeputy Head of Sustainable Banking, SEB Norway
  • Jimmy Huang, Associate Dean for Global Engagement, Nottingham University Business School
  • Jaakko Kooroshy, Head of Sustainable Investment Research, FTSE Russell
  • Sarada Krishnan, Lecturer in Accounting, University of Sussex Business School
  • Paul Lamont,  Innovation Lead, Experian 
  • Fabien Le Tennier, Policy expert Sustainable Finance, European Banking Authority
  • Gustaf Lilliehöök, Partner, Denmark, NREP
  • Steven McGuire, Dean, University of Sussex Business School
  • Dilyara Salakhova, Senior Financial Stability Expert, European Central Bank 
  • Graham Smith, Director Sustainable Finance Unit, KPMG
  • Misa Tanaka, Head of Research, Bank of England


  • Day 1: Latest Developments from Industry
    Time Speaker / Title
    14.00-14.10 Opening Address from the Chair
    Radu Tunaru, Professor of Finance and Risk Management, University of Sussex
    14.10-14.15 Welcome

    Steve McGuire, Professor of Business and Public Policy, Dean, University of Sussex Business School

    Session Chair: Sarada Krishnan, Lecturer in Accounting, University of Sussex


    Keynote Speech: Jaakko Kooroshy, Head of Sustainable Investment Research, FTSE Russell

    Climate Finance post COP26


    Industry Presentation 1: Susanne GløersenDeputy Head of Sustainable Banking, SEB Norway

    The revolution of sustainability linked financing and what’s next 

    15:30 - 16:00

    Industry Presentation 2: Gustaf Lilliehöök, Partner, Denmark, NREP

    Capital as a driving force for sustainability in real estate

    16:00 - 16:15


    Session Chair: Ahmed Barakat, Assistant Professor in Banking, University of Nottingham

    16:15 - 17:15

    Industry Panel Discussion

    Measuring and deploying sustainability: Challenges and opportunities


    Paul Lamont,  Innovation Lead, Experian 


    Lisa Cycon, Project Manager, Project Manager, Commerz Business Consulting GmbH, Commerzbank AG

    Anna Georgieva, Associate Principal, Sustainable Investment, Qontigo

    Graham Smith, Director Sustainable Finance Unit, KPMG 

    17:15 - 17:30

    MSc Sustainable Finance and Accounting at University of Sussex

    Sarada Krishnan, Lecturer in Accounting, University of Sussex Business School

    17:30 - 17:35 Day 1 Closing Remarks
  • Day 2: Challenges for Policy and Regulators
    Time Speaker / Title
    14.00-14.15 Opening Address from the Chair
    Meryem Duygun, Aviva Chair in Risk and Insurance, University of Nottingham

    Keynote Speech: Misa Tanaka, Head of Research, Bank of England

    Climate Finance: the role of central banks


    Session Chair: Tam Nguyen, Assistant Professor in Accounting, University of Nottingham

    Policy Presentation 1:
    Lucia Alessi, Responsible for Sustainable Finance Research, European Commission

    Climate Finance: Science and Policy

    15:30 - 16:00

    Policy Presentation 2:

    Dilyara Salakhova, Senior Financial Stability Expert, European Central Bank

    16:00 - 16:15


    16:15 - 16:45

    Session Chair: Panagiotis Tzouvanas, Lecturer in Finance, University of Sussex 

    Policy Presentation 3:
    ESG risks in the banking regulatory framework
    Fabien Le Tennier, Policy expert Sustainable Finance, European Banking Authority

    16:45 - 17:00

    MSc Fintech Programme at University of Nottingham

    Jimmy Huang, Professor of Digital Innovation and Associate Dean for Global Engagement, Nottingham University Business School 

    17:00 - 17:10 Day 2 Closing Remarks
  • Speaker Biographies

    Lucia AlessiLucia Alessi is Responsible for Sustainable Finance at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Her team develops research in support of EU policymaking on sustainable investments and ESG risks. Her more recent research focuses on the development of carbon stress tests and the assessment of ESG risks for banks , on the analysis of investors' attitude towards climate risk, and on the EU green Taxonomy. From 2007 to 2015 she worked at the European Central Bank, where she served in various areas, including Research, Economics, and Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability. 

    Lisa CyconDr. Lisa Cycon is a Project Manager at Commerz Business Consulting GmbH, the in-house consulting unit of Commerzbank AG. For more than 10 years, she has accompanied projects in various areas of expertise, such as corporate banking, M&A and, most recently, in the bank’s sustainability project that spans all activities within the organization that are related to sustainability and other ESG aspects. Lisa earned her doctoral degree in 2018 from Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in the field of Empirical Banking.

    Anna GeorgievaAnna Georgieva is Associate Principal, Sustainable Investment at Qontigo. In her role, Anna is responsible for sustainable investment related market intelligence and research, client engagement, regulatory tracking and integration guidance to the index and analytics product teams. Before Anna joined Qontigo she was Investment Practices Manager at the Principles for Responsible Investment (UN PRI) where she co-developed extensive ESG integration and engagement guidance for equity and fixed income investors. Anna started her career at Trucost (now part of S&P Global) as a Natural Capital Analyst after completing her MSc. Environmental Technology at Imperial College London. She is currently a CFA Level III candidate.

    Susanne GloersenSusanne Gløersen is Deputy Head of Sustainable Banking in SEB Norway. She has extensive experience from sustainability and the financial sector, having worked more than 10 years in the field. Previously she has worked in Nordea, wealth advisor Formuesforvaltning, Carnegie and her own consultancy. Susanne has also co-founded Norsif (Norwegian association for sustainable and responsible investments). She has a passion for venture and clean tech, and serves on the board of the start-ups Hayk and ClevAir. 

    Jimmy HuangJimmy Huang is Associate Dean of Nottingham University Business School looking after student recruitment and global engagement. In addition to his managerial role, Jimmy is also a leading researcher in digital innovation. Jimmy’s research focuses primarily on FinTech, digital innovation, digital transformation and knowledge management from the perspective of organisation, strategic management and entrepreneurship. His academic leadership and accomplishment is reflected in a substantial volume of highly cited articles in top journals, international conferences, regular research incomes, extensive research collaborations with organisations within and outside the U.K., and ongoing engagements with the research community, industry and media. 

    Jaakko KooroshyJaakko Kooroshy is Head of Sustainable Investment Research at FTSE Russell where he oversees a team of researchers and data scientists developing climate and sustainability-related data and scores for the use in benchmark and index products. Previously, Jaakko was an Executive Director at Goldman Sachs, where he was the European research lead for GS SUSTAIN, providing insights in investment opportunities around the low carbon transition and other long-term trends. He has also been a Research Fellow for Energy, Environment, and Resources at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House and an analyst at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies (HCSS). 

    Sarada KrishnanSarada Rajeswari Krishnan is Lecturer in Accounting at the Department of Accounting and Finance in the University of Sussex Business School. Sarada holds a PhD in Accounting from Alliance Manchester Business School in the University of Manchester. She is the course convener of the new MSc Sustainable Finance and Accounting launched this year at University of Sussex Business School, as part of furthering the implementation of PRME into our teaching and achieving the university’s vision to realize the SDGs. Sarada’s research interests include the diffusion of international accounting standards, accounting policy decisions of nation-states, transnational policy networks and processes in accounting regulation, decision-making issues in project management of public private partnerships as well as sustainability reporting.

    Fabien Le TennierFabian Le Tennier is a policy expert on sustainable finance at the European Banking Authority (EBA). He started working on banking regulation at the Autorite de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution (2014-2018), where he was  involved in the first supervisory and policy developments regarding climate-related risks in the banking sector. He was seconded from ACPR to EBA in 2019 to work on sustainable finance, and then joined the Single Supervisory Mechanism – European Central Bank where he contributed to the development of the ECB supervisory expectations on the management and disclosure of climate and environmental risks. Fabian re-joined the EBA in September 2020 where he is working on the various EBA mandates related to the integration of Environmental, Social and Governance factors and risks in banking regulation and supervision.

    Gustaf LilliehookGustaf Lilliehöök is a Partner at NREP, a Nordic real estate investor, developer and manager focused on social impact and environmental sustainability. Prior to joining NREP in 2012, Mr. Lilliehöök worked at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group and a pioneer within impact investing. At IFC, Gustaf worked with a focus on investments in sectors with significant ESG complexity and improvement potential, such as extractive industries and infrastructure, most recently as the leader of IFC’s investment activities in the mining sector in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa. Prior to IFC, Gustaf had a background from management consulting.

    Misa TanakaMisa Tanaka is Head of Research at the Bank of England. She has joined the Bank in 2002 after completing a D.Phil in Economics at Nuffield College, University of Oxford. She has held a number of positions across Monetary Analysis, Financial Stability, and Prudential Policy Areas of the Bank. Misa has previously published articles on international policy spillovers, bonus regulations, and sovereign debt finance in Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Journal of Financial Intermediation, and Economic Journal, amongst others. Misa's current research interests include prudential policies and the impact of climate change on the financial system. 

Conference Chairs & Organising Committee


Professor Meryem Duygun, University of Nottingham

Professor Radu Tunaru, University of Sussex


Ahmed Barakat, University of Nottingham

Galina Goncharenko, University of Sussex

Sarada Krishnan, University of Sussex

Aristea Markantoni, University of Sussex

Lee Matthews, University of Nottingham

Tam Nguyen, University of Nottingham

Sara Ornati, University of Nottingham

Luis D. Torres, University of Nottingham

Panagiotis Tzouvanas, University of Sussex