Sarah Kemmitt from the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) will take the spotlight in Paris on 16 May as keynote speaker at the Sustainable Finance Summit & Awards 2024.

Secretariat Lead for the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, Sarah’s expertise traverses environmental sustainability, ecological conservation, and financial regulation.

Educational journey and early career

Armed with degrees in environmental science and environmental forestry, including a PhD in soil microbial ecology & biogeochemistry, Sarah initially focused on ecological conservation. Her research on carbon and nitrogen cycling in agroecosystems laid the foundation for her commitment to environmental causes.

Transition to financial services

Sarah’s trajectory shifted as she joined the British Library during a pivotal period of digital transformation. Post the financial crisis, the UK Financial Services Authority sought diverse perspectives, propelling Sarah into financial services regulation. Her roles at the Bank of England expanded, leveraging her unique blend of environmental and financial expertise.

Environmental leadership in financial regulation

In recent years, Sarah has played a pivotal role in integrating environmental considerations into financial regulation. Her work at the Bank of England helped to shape the UK’s regulatory framework for managing climate change risks in the banking and insurance sectors.

Net-zero initiatives

As Secretariat Lead for the Net-Zero Banking Alliance, Sarah drives this initiative for a sustainable, net-zero future. This alliance brings together influential financial players individually committed to aligning activities with global climate goals.

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Investigating Europe’s sustainable behaviour: keynote highlights

In her upcoming talk, Sarah will delve into crucial aspects:

  • Understanding Strategies and Decision-Making: Exploring innovative approaches and decision-making required to think “outside-the-box.”
  • Key Opportunities & Challenges: Uncovering the finance industry’s challenges and opportunities on the sustainability front.
  • Industry Behaviour and Revolutionary Changes: Analyzing the current state of the industry and outlining revolutionary changes for a sustainable future.
  • Output from COP 28 and Policy/Geopolitical Updates: Providing insights into the outcomes of COP 28 and the latest developments in policy and geopolitics.

Sarah Kemmitt’s journey from ecological conservation to financial regulation exemplifies the harmonious integration of environmental passion and financial acumen. As the keynote speaker, her insights promise to illuminate the path towards a sustainable financial future at the summit.