The 2020 global ethical finance summit has been announced, bringing hundreds of major investors, asset owners and finance leaders to Scotland.
Supported by the Scottish Government and the United Nations Development Programme, the flagship event will focus on building a more sustainable financial system.
With the COP26 UN climate change conference taking place in Glasgow next year, the summit’s theme will be protecting our future.
There will be a focus on how financial services can support inclusive economic growth without depleting natural resources, and how the sector can help deliver the Paris Agreement and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
It comes after the COP25 climate talks in Madrid ended with a compromise deal on the global response to curbing carbon.
The ethical finance conference, to be held at the Edinburgh headquarters of RBS on October 6 and 7, 2020, is organised by the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI), which oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.
It follows a hugely successful conference in 2019, which included a keynote speech from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and video addresses from former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, and attracted over 350 participants from around the world.
The announcement of the 2020 summit was made at GEFI’s latest ethical finance round table event in Edinburgh, hosted by Baillie Gifford, which addressed responsible investment and more sustainable models for the banking sector.
Omar Shaikh, managing director of the Global Ethical Finance Initiative, said: “The 2019 ethical finance summit attracted major international attention, bringing global leaders together to discuss key challenges including products, culture, system change, regulation and maintaining returns in financial services. “A new way requires holistic thinking which is why the summit uniquely convenes the banking and investment ecosystem, addresses the big challenges we face that rethink capitalism, and connects people to enable partnerships to produce ethical financial solutions. “To build on this desire for positive change, we’re bringing the finance world back to Scotland in 2020 for our next global summit in October. “With COP26 taking place in Glasgow just a few weeks later, it significantly enhances the global prominence of this year’s summit and provides an excellent opportunity to focus on climate finance. “Moving from talk to action, our theme will be protecting the future for everyone.”
Kirsty Britz, director of sustainable banking at RBS, said: “We are looking forward to once again hosting the Global Ethical Finance Summit next year. “The conference will be an important milestone in an exciting year for Scotland, with world leaders set to come to Glasgow for the UN’s COP26 climate talks in November. “As a founding signatory to the UN Principles for Responsible Banking, RBS has committed to further align our strategy with the Paris Climate Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals. “The global ethical finance summit provides an excellent opportunity for us to work collaboratively with stakeholders, peers and partners who are leading the agenda.”
Andrew Cave, head of governance and sustainability with Baillie Gifford, said: “Following the success of this year’s event we are delighted to be supporting Ethical Finance 2020 in Edinburgh next year. “The global summit is an important platform for facilitating collaborative and insightful discussions that challenge and inspire asset owners and financial institutions to invest responsibly and take practical actions to deliver positive impact for people and the planet.”
A nationwide campaign has been launched to provide Christmas presents for Scottish families struggling during the festive season.
It will be the seventh annual toybank organised by Anas Sarwar MSP, and this year will extend beyond Glasgow to all parts of Scotland for the first time.
The campaign is arranged by the Sarwar Foundation in conjunction with Children 1st and Scottish Women’s Aid.
Last year, more than 500 toys and vouchers were donated to the appeal, and they were distributed to children identified by the two charities who may not otherwise receive a present, including children living in refuges.
The aim is to deliver presents to at least 1,000 children this year, and supporters can donate on a JustGiving site or directly donate new toys and/or gift vouchers.
Anas Sarwar said: “There are thousands of children across Scotland who miss out on Christmas. “With foodbanks on the rise, wage stagnation and increased housing costs, even more families are struggling financially this year. “Many parents can’t afford any presents for their children, and many youngsters have nothing to open on Christmas Day morning. “The toybank appeal aims to change that, and I hope people across Scotland will support the campaign. “We need donations of new toys and gift vouchers to make this a record-breaking year because every child deserves a Christmas.”
Ash Kuloo, member services manager at Scottish Women’s Aid, said: “We welcome the launch of this campaign, which includes Women’s Aid groups who provide a range of specialist domestic abuse services to women, children and young people across Scotland. “Children and young people experiencing domestic abuse can already feel socially isolated at times, particularly if they’ve had to leave their home, school, friends and community to escape domestic abuse. Receiving Christmas gifts can help children to feel part of a big social event that they may not have had experience of before. “We know that women who experience domestic abuse are balancing the financial constraints of that abuse and control and many are living in poverty. This campaign will help make sure that their children will have something to open on Christmas morning and will help relieve some of the pressure that Christmas brings.”
Julie Richardson, Children 1st assistant director in Glasgow, said: “Thanks to the Sarwar Foundation’s toy appeal, hundreds of children and parents in the south of Glasgow have had the same joyful, happy and exciting Christmas as families less affected by adversity. “As well as providing gifts, the appeal helps relieve some of the pressures and stress on families experiencing challenging times. Children 1st are delighted to be working with the Foundation and Scottish Women’s Aid to expand the appeal across Scotland and are truly in awe of the generosity and kindness shown by donors, so that families can have a better Christmas.”
Marie Farry, children and young people’s service manager with Glasgow Women’s Aid, said: “Glasgow Women’s Aid children’s service have benefited from the toybank appeal for many years. This has made a massive difference to the families we work with and has allowed the children and young people to experience a really happy Christmas.”
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