“A game changer for Ireland” - that’s how the Irish Independent described Sustainable Finance Day 2019 on May 16 - when some of the world’s most senior figures in sustainable finance assembled in Dublin for a high-powered conference on climate finance and sustainability.
Convened by the Department of Finance and Sustainable Nation Ireland, this key event called ‘Catalysing Global Savings to Advance our Sustainability Goals’ represented the biggest gathering of leading international financial institutions and asset managers ever held in Ireland focused on this topic.
StoryLab worked with Sustainable Nation Ireland to draw the national and international media’s attention to the event that underlined the huge global urgency to move climate change from a still relatively niche issue to a critical, mainstream priority.
The ‘game-changer’ referred to by the Irish Independent was the decision by the World Bank to list a €1.5bn Sustainable Development Bond on the Irish Stock Exchange Euronext, its first 10-year bond since 2009 and the first World Bank Bond in Ireland in 25 years.
The event was attended by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar T.D. with no fewer than four of his ministers speaking: Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure & Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D.; Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton T.D.; Minister of State at the Department of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael Darcy T.D.; and Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Ciarán Cannon T.D.
Mr Varadkar spoke to an audience of over 200 international delegates, 49 speakers and a large media turnout that included representatives from Reuters, RTE, Independent.ie, the Irish Times, Newstalk, Environmental Finance and The Times Ireland.
Speakers also included Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland, Sharon Donnery, whose remarks about the impact of climate change on property values was the subject of the Times Ireland main front page story the next day.
Stephen Nolan, Sustainable Nation Ireland, said the event was highly successful in building on Ireland’s expertise and leadership in sustainable finance.
“This is further evidence that Dublin is forging a reputation as a leading global centre for sustainable finance. The World Bank bond aligns with the Irish Government’s key focus areas for development which includes prioritising climate action, as evidenced in the recently launched ‘Ireland for Finance’ strategy.”
So, all in all, it was a highly successful day in which the message from Dublin was made loud and clear through the prestigious list of attendees and extensive media attendance. Ireland has an “All of Government” approach to fighting climate change, and the world-class expertise in business and finance to help transition Ireland, Europe and the world to a low-carbon economy fit for future generations.