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10 Key Programs On Climate/ Green Finance At The World Economic Forum


The 54th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum takes place January 15 – 19, 2024, in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland. The meeting brings representatives from over 100 governments, international organizations, civic leaders, and experts to discuss the future of world events.

The overall theme of the meeting is Rebuilding Trust. The programming is divided into four categories: Achieving Security and Cooperation in a Fractured World; Creating Growth and Jobs for a New Era; Artificial Intelligence as a Driving Force for the Economy and Society; and A Long-Term Strategy for Climate, Nature and Energy.

The rising cost of climate change was a major theme at COP28, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Summit that occurred in Dubai, United Arab Emirates from November 30 – December 12. The ambitious goals of the Paris Agreement are driving a focus on the investment in climate change projects both in the private and public sectors. Climate finance is a subset of green finance, or the investment in environmentally friendly projects. The broader sustainable finance includes green finance, but also looks at social and governance in what is commonly referred to as ESG.

With over 200 sessions running simultaneously via livestream, finding the right schedule can be difficult. Here are 10 programs on the environmental aspects of sustainable finance to watch at the WEF, plus three to keep an eye on.


COP28 and the Road Ahead

January 16, 15:00 – 15:45 CET

Theme: The 28th Conference of the Parties and the conclusion of the global stocktake are significant milestones in the fight against climate change. However, multiple questions remain on how to accelerate inclusive climate action effectively.

What are COP28’s achievements and disappointments and what lies ahead for the next COP?

Speakers: Sally Buzbee, Mikayil Jabbarov, John F. Kerry, Fatih Birol, Catherine MacGregor.


Multilateral Development Banks: Bigger, Bolder, Better?

January 16, 16:15 – 17:00 CET

Theme: In 2023, the financing gap for developing economies to reach their Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 widened to an estimated $4 trillion per year. Multilateral development banks are making progress towards unlocking more capital, but reaching development goals will require public and private investors to scale-up financing, particularly in low income and fragile contexts.

How can enough capital be successfully deployed to close the financing gap and rebuild trust between the international system and affected communities?

Speakers: Vera Songwe, Sri Mulyani Indrawati, N. K. Singh, Lord Nicholas Stern, Charles Forelle.


Investing with Purpose in Frontier Markets

January 16, 17:30 – 18:15 CET

Theme: There is an increasing recognition that market-driven solutions can complement traditional humanitarian approaches to provide a sustainable and long-term response to crises. Frontier markets such as northern Kenya present an opportunity to do things differently.

What are the most promising sectors where private investment can bring sustainable economic development in frontier markets?

Speakers: Peter Maurer, Mirek Dušek, Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbade, Jessica Anderen, Anne Beathe Tvinnereim.


Climate and Nature: Seed Capital Needed

January 17, 13:15 – 14:00

Theme: To fast track a net-zero, nature-positive economy requires philanthropic and development support that are early-stage, risk-taking and catalytic.

How can governments, development finance and philanthropic institutions join forces with private capital to avert climate collapse?

Speakers: Ray Dalio, Makhtar Diop, Mafalda Duarte, John F. Kerry, Desmond Kuek, David Gelles, Badr Jafar.


Why Social Innovation Matters for Business?

January 17, 15:00 – 15:45 CET

Theme: From the $500 billion market opportunity in social procurement to the $2 trillion annual market for climate adaptation, social innovation holds high potential for business growth.

How can early movers gain competitive advantages by implementing social innovation?

Speakers: Sabrina Soussan, Ruchika Singhal, Raj Kumar, Julia White, Hilde Schwab, Geoff Martha, Dan Viederman, Benoit Bonello, Anna Marks, Ajaita Shah.


Calming Green Trade Tensions

January 17, 16:15 – 17:00 CET

Theme: Green trade wars could stall climate efforts as countries clash on subsidies, investment, carbon pricing and more. Yet trade collaboration could accelerate clean technology uptake.

How can countries overcome current trade tensions to ensure global green growth?

Speakers: Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Siyu Huang, Rachel Kyte, Juan Carlos Mathews, Espen Barth Eide.


European Green Deal, Anyone?

January 18, 9:00 – 9:45 CET

Theme: In its ambition to make Europe climate-neutral by 2050, the European Commission led the rollout of era-defining green legislation during its current term and aims to mobilize at least €1 trillion in sustainable investments over the next decade.

As the European Green Deal faces political headwinds in the run-up to the 2024 parliamentary elections, what does its future look like?

Speakers: Sasha Vakulina, Maxim Timchenko, Maros Sefcovic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Ester Baiget.


All Change: What Next for Monetary Policy?

January 18, 11:30 – 12:15 CET

Theme: Amid transformative changes and challenges in the global economy, the standard monetary policy toolkit is under scrutiny.

How can central banks adapt and innovate to ensure they remain effective stewards of the economy?

Speakers: Thomas J. Jordan, Martin Wolf, Mark Carney, Laura Alfaro, Katherine Garrett-Cox, Julio Velarde.


Decarbonizing Emerging Markets

January 18, 13:15 – 14:00 CET

Theme: Emerging economies need $5.8 trillion-$5.9 trillion by 2030 to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, yet economic headwinds are obstructing efforts to close this financing gap.

What innovative financing models will deliver to reduce emissions while supporting economic growth and prosperity in developing markets?

Speakers: Odile Françoise Renaud-Basso, John F. Kerry, Joanna Messing, Haslinda Amin, Bill Winters.


Are the Financial Risks of Climate Change Under-Priced?

January 18, 16:15 – 17:00 CET

Theme: In the 1980s, in the US alone there were three $1 billion climate disasters a year; in 2023, this rose to one every two weeks.

With climate-related financial risks incurring unprecedented costs, how are decision-makers around the world future-proofing the financial system?

Speakers: Steven van Rijswijk, Mariana Mazzucato, Katharine Hayhoe, Inger Andersen, Christian Mumenthaler.

These three programs, while not specifically addressing sustainable finance, could breach the topic:


Regulating Non-Banks

January 16, 15:00 – 15:45 CET

Theme: Post 2008, the banking sector became one of the most heavily regulated entities in our economies; by contrast, non-banking financial institutions have operated under much less stringent conditions.

What are the implications of light touch regulation across the sector and what should regulators and financial institutions do to preserve stability of global financial architecture?

Speakers: Steven Tananbaum, Mohammed Al-Jadaan, Greg Ip, Evan Siddall, Anne Walsh.


No Recovery without Trade and Investment

January 18, 14:00 – 14:45 CET

Theme: Trade tensions threaten growth. Over the past 30 years, trade and investment have been critical drivers of prosperity.

Given current geo-economic shifts and fragilities, how can we salvage these two growth engines and retool them for the future?

Speakers: Valdis Dombrovskis, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Brian Moynihan, Børge Brende.


Where Global Commerce Is Headed

January 18, 15:00 – 15:45 CET

Theme: Established trade patterns are fragmenting while emerging regional trade deals centre increasingly on resilience and regulatory cooperation rather than market access.

What does this mean for the multilateral system and business strategies?

Speakers: Simon Evenett, Reta Jo Lewis, Rebeca Grynspan, Jakob Stausholm, Adebayo Olawale Edun.

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