Today’s leaders join forces with tomorrow’s at SFE Green Finance Youth Summit

                                                                  Photo courtesy of Chris Watt Photography


Pre-COP26 Summit in Glasgow brought together leading figures from business and government to inspire and learn from young professionals in Scottish finance sector

Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) held a milestone Green Finance Youth Summit in Glasgow today, giving young professionals from across financial and professional services a chance to engage with business, political and third sector leaders on the role of the industry in addressing climate change ahead of COP26 in November.

Attendees from SFE’s Young Professionals network were hosted at the live event at PwC Glasgow for an interactive all-day session.

Both the UK and Scottish governments contributed to the summit, reinforcing their commitment to collaborate with industry to drive the journey to net zero. COP26 President Alok Sharma MP addressed the young audience via video. This was followed by a Q&A with Cabinet Secretary for Finance & the Economy Kate Forbes MSP.

The event featured two panel discussions on the role of young professionals in supporting their organisations and communities to achieve net zero. Attendees heard from industry leaders including Fraser Wilson, Head of Financial Services in Scotland at PwC and Vida Rudkin, Managing Director of Morgan Stanley in Glasgow and SFE Board Sponsor of Young Professionals network.

The summit also featured interactive workshops run by Common Purpose, a not-for-profit organisation who specialise in leadership development that crosses sectors, with a wide range of guest speakers and participants including Catherine Topley, CEO of Scottish Canals, Stuart Patrick, CEO of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Commenting on the event, SFE Chief Executive Sandy Begbie said: “Finance has a crucial role to play if we are to be successful in addressing the climate emergency. Our wide range of members, representing banking, asset management, life and pensions and more, must be at the forefront of financing the transition to net zero and the work that is done now will be further developed and accelerated by the next generation of leaders. The young professionals at today’s summit were a credit to their organisations and its more than clear they’re up to the task.”

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy Kate Forbes MSP said: “I was delighted to discuss both the challenges and opportunities for the financial services sector in addressing the climate emergency at today’s summit. The Scottish Government supports the sector in its aim to drive a just transition through collaboration at all levels of the industry, including with young professionals who will lead these efforts in years to come.”

COP26 President Alok Sharma MP said: “I welcomed the opportunity to address young professionals in the Scottish financial services sector with a message of hope and determination. COP26 provides us with a unique opportunity to work in partnership with business to lead the journey to net zero and create a world class green finance centre. This is the legacy we are motivated to leave for the next generation of leaders.”

Fraser Wilson, Head of Financial Services in Scotland at PwC said: “We thoroughly enjoyed hosting today’s summit. There has been a real impetus in financial services to tackle the climate crisis in recent years, and as we move forward its vital that young people are part of this discussion, helping to shape our actions and our approach.”