About us

To achieve the transition to an inclusive, net-zero carbon and climate-resilient economy, both public and private finance is needed.

Our vision

A greener future made possible by finance

Our mission

To accelerate the transition to a clean, resilient and environmentally sustainable economy by channelling capital at pace and scale towards real-economy outcomes that will create jobs and increase prosperity for all.

The Green Finance Institute was established in 2019 as a direct response to a key policy recommendation made by the industry-led Green Finance Taskforce to the UK Government in March 2018.

Sitting at the nexus of the public and private sectors, the Green Finance Institute convenes and leads sectoral coalitions of global experts, that identify and unlock barriers to investment towards impactful, real-economy outcomes, to benefit our environment, society, and business.

We are an independent, commercially focused organisation backed by government and led by bankers. We are fuelled by science and data and propelled by the creativity and ingenuity of the finance sector.

We design, develop and launch portfolios of scalable financial solutions that accelerate sector-specific transitions to a low-carbon future.

“The systemic risk posed by the climate crisis to financial services requires decisive action and a rapid pivot towards the opportunities presented by the zero-carbon economy. Box-ticking, sloganeering, greenwashing and relying on the heroic efforts of individuals won’t achieve the scale of the transformation required. Cross-sector collaboration and the focused application of the creativity, innovation and skills of the financial services industry to finance the global transition will.”

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE, Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute

What we do

01

FINANCING GREEN

Mobilising public and private finance for clean and resilient growth

  • Focusing on financing real-economy transitions by sector
  • Bringing together and leading coalitions of global experts and practitioners
  • Identifying the barriers to investment
  • Fostering the development of innovative financial mechanisms
  • Incubating new ventures with foundations and other strategic partners worldwide

02

GREENING FINANCE

Supporting the greening of the financial system

  • Collaborating with financial regulators, policymakers, trade bodies, think tanks and multilateral organisations
  • Raising awareness of the financial sector’s ambitions and achievements in green finance through communications, events and engagement programmes

03

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

Building green finance skills and capabilities

  • Supporting the UK Government’s diplomatic and trade efforts through education, training and advisory work
  • Sharing international learning and best practice

4
5

01

FINANCING GREEN

Mobilising public and private finance for clean and resilient growth

  • Focusing on financing real-economy transitions by sector
  • Bringing together and leading coalitions of global experts and practitioners
  • Identifying the barriers to investment
  • Fostering the development of innovative financial mechanisms
  • Incubating new ventures with foundations and other strategic partners worldwide

02

GREENING FINANCE

Supporting the greening of the financial system

  • Collaborating with financial regulators, policymakers, trade bodies, think tanks and multilateral organisations
  • Raising awareness of the financial sector’s ambitions and achievements in green finance through communications, events and engagement programmes

03

FINANCING GREEN

KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

Building green finance skills and capabilities

  • Supporting the UK Government’s diplomatic and trade efforts through education, training and advisory work
  • Sharing international learning and best practice

Who we are

We are a purpose-driven team of market practitioners with a wealth of experience from across financial services, policy and academia. Led by bankers, we are an ‘action tank’ with a practical, sector-focused approach to unlocking green investment opportunities.

Sir Roger Gifford

CHAIR, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE,
SENIOR BANKER,
SKANDINAVISKA ENSKILDA BANKEN (SEB)
LORD MAYOR, CITY OF LONDON (2013)

Sir Roger Gifford is chair of the Green Finance Institute and a senior banker at SEB in London. He was Lord Mayor of London in 2013.

Roger read Chemistry at Oxford and began his career in the financial sector at S.G. Warburg & Co, before joining SEB in 1982. Prior to his appointment as UK country head in 2000, he led the bank's operations in Japan for six years. He has worked in and around the primary debt and equity capital markets most of his career.

Roger is vice chair and a past chair of the Association of Foreign Banks in London and chair of the advisory board of the International Business and Diplomatic Exchange. He was chair of the Green Finance Initiative, launched in London in 2016 to focus on growing the contribution of the financial sector to the G20 climate agenda, and chaired the UK Government’s Green Finance Taskforce in 2018. One of the key recommendations of the taskforce was the formation of the Green Finance Institute.

He is an elected member of the City of London Corporation as alderman for the ward of Cordwainer.

Dr. Rhian-Mari Thomas

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas OBE
Chief Executive, Green Finance Institute

Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas was awarded an OBE for services to green banking and was appointed chief executive of the UK Government and City of London Corporation-backed Green Finance Institute in 2019. She is Chair of the Green Finance Institute’s Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings.

Rhian was previously the global head of green banking and the founder and chair of Barclays Green Banking Council, which developed and launched Barclays’ suite of green finance products and services.

These include issuance of the first green bond by a UK bank backed solely by UK assets, the first green mortgage by a major UK high street lender and establishing Barclays as the first commercial bank with a full green corporate banking proposition to complement Barclays’ existing green bond origination capabilities.

Rhian is an Emeritus Member of the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). She also previously sat on the UK Government Green Finance Taskforce, the Banking Environment Initiative’s Fintech Taskforce and the steering group for the United Nations Environment Programme Principles for Responsible Banking.

Rhian is a commissioner for the Commission for Carbon Charging, a member of the Global Advisory Council for Oxford University’s Sustainable Finance Programme and an Advisor to the UK Government’s Climate Finance Accelerator programme.

Rhian began her banking career at Barclays Investment Bank in 2000, spending 10 years in leveraged finance and financial sponsors coverage before holding a succession of leadership roles across Barclays Corporate Bank and Barclaycard.

She is a passionate advocate of diversity and fairness and was awarded the Barclays Woman of the Year award 2014/15 in recognition of her efforts to support the inclusion agenda both within the bank and the broader community. In both 2016 and 2017, Rhian was ranked in the Financial Times Outstanding Top 30 Global Executive LGBT Allies list.

A fluent Welsh speaker, Rhian holds a PhD in Physics from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.

Dan Godsall

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER

Prior to joining the Green Finance Institute in 2020, Dan Godsall had a 27-year career spanning retail banking and commercial insurance.

He spent 16 years at Barclays, where he held three managing director positions, responsible for several regions of the retail banking network in the UK, and as national head of Barclays Premier Banking. Dan also spent three years at First Title Insurance plc, where he was a member of the executive committee.

Over the past five years, Dan established and ran several successful leadership development businesses, focussed on responsible leadership and diversity and inclusion. 

Emma Harvey

PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

An experienced and passionate green finance specialist, Emma Harvey joined the Green Finance Institute in 2019 and leads a portfolio of coalitions and projects including the Coalition for the Energy Efficiency of Buildings, an industry-led collaboration with more than 100 members, focused on developing new financial products and solutions to help accelerate the decarbonisation of buildings. 

Emma previously worked across several areas within Barclays Bank including product development, portfolio management and corporate debt structuring. Throughout this period she championed the green finance agenda, supporting the bank’s first green bond issuance and pioneering the Barclays green home mortgage.

Emma holds an MPhys in Physics from Warwick University and received the Styles Prize for graduating top of her year.

Karim Arslan

PROGRAMME DIRECTOR, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Karim Arslan joined the Green Finance Institute as a programme director in May 2020 after 10 years working in investment banking and life insurance. He leads a number of programmes and initiatives across the Institute, bringing together groups of experts from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society to co-create new financial facilities and mechanisms to address the climate challenge. 

Prior to joining the Institute, Karim spent seven years at Barclays Investment Bank as a fixed income trader where he established and led the European operations of the securitised products repo business. He also led the bank’s efforts to set up and manage the more than £2bn bond portfolio; the largest portfolio of green bonds held by a bank. 

Karim was a key member of the Barclays Green Banking Council which developed and launched multiple first-to-market green products. 

He spent four years at AXA Life Invest in Paris and Singapore as a cross-assets derivatives trader, where he led the design and implementation of hedging strategies for a more than £1bn portfolio of life insurance products.

A fluent Arabic and French speaker, Karim holds an MSc in Finance from Paris-Dauphine University and an MSc in Econometrics from the Sorbonne University in Paris.

Catrin Thomas

DIRECTOR CORPORATE AFFAIRS (INTERIM), GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

A senior corporate affairs professional with more than 20 years’ international experience across the financial services, technology, media and non-profit sectors, Catrin Thomas has worked at the Green Finance Institute since its launch in July 2019.

Prior to joining the Institute, she was the head of corporate communications at Bloomberg L.P. where she established the communications strategy and infrastructure to support the organisation’s core financial products and wider product portfolio, enterprise businesses, news, media and research arms and its philanthropic endeavours across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. 

Catrin previously held senior global communications roles at CNN International and BBC World News.

A fluent Welsh speaker, Catrin sits on the board of GlobalWelsh, a non-profit diaspora engagement and investment organisation. Catrin read economics at Swansea University and has a post-graduate diploma in public and media relations from Cardiff University’s School of Journalism, Media and Culture.

Helen Avery

EDITORIAL CONSULTANT, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Helen Avery is an editorial consultant for the Green Finance Institute focusing on developing original reporting to support the climate finance agenda and advising the Institute’s work on financing nature-based solutions. 

Helen is also a contributing editor at Euromoney magazine where she was until recently the sustainable finance editor, heading up global coverage of social and environmental finance, impact investing, conservation finance, inclusive finance, diversity and inclusion and corporate responsibility - areas she has covered since 2011.

She was managing editor of Euromoney’s sustainable finance podcast series and ran the publication’s coverage of global wealth management and philanthropy, which she had covered since joining Euromoney in 2003.

Her passion lies in driving finance towards solving key issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change and inequality. During her time at the title she has also held the roles of US editor and alternative investments editor. Prior to working at Euromoney Helen was a reporter with Investment and Pensions Europe (IPE) and the International Financing Review (IFR).

Helen supports VE International in the development of its school curriculum to include sustainability and sustainable finance.

Brendan Curran

ASSOCIATE, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Brendan Curran joined the Green Finance Institute as an associate in March 2020, on secondment from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), where he is a senior policy adviser within the domestic green finance team.

Prior to this, Brendan worked as a policy adviser on impact investment within the Government Inclusive Economy Unit for 18 months. He also spent five years at Lloyds Bank where he completed the CIMA accountancy qualification and was a product manager within the bank’s commercial division.

Further to his CIMA qualification, Brendan holds an MSc in economics from the University of Amsterdam and a BSc (Hons) in politics and economics from the University of Bristol.

Ryan Jude

ASSOCIATE, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Ryan Jude joined the Green Finance Institute as an associate in June 2020. He is working across its sector-focused coalitions and initiatives, bringing together key stakeholders across the public and private sectors, academia and civil society in order to unlock barriers to the deployment of capital to deliver tangible economic outcomes. 

Before joining the Institute, Ryan spent three years working in investment banking at Cantor Fitzgerald and Jefferies, specialising in power, energy and infrastructure, with a particular focus on renewable energy transactions. He has experience providing financial and strategic advice to leading clients on high-profile, global transactions, in both mergers and acquisitions and project finance.  

While at Cantor Fitzgerald, Ryan gained a strong insight into the regulatory, economic and political landscapes within the renewable energy sectors in Europe, LatAm, MENA and APAC at both macro and country-specific levels. 

Ryan holds a first-class honours degree in mathematics from Imperial College London.

Jonathan Heybrock

ANALYST, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Jonathan Heybrock joined the Green Finance Institute in April 2020 and works across its portfolio of coalitions and projects as well as supporting the Institute’s operations, marketing, research, events and communications functions.

He has experience in financial research across different asset classes, financial products and sectors, having interned at Allianz Global Investors, Peel Hunt and Standard Life Aberdeen. He is passionate about the areas of ESG and sustainable and responsible finance.

Jonathan holds an MA in philosophy, politics and economics from Leiden University and a BSc (Hons) in politics and economics from the University of Bath.

Daisy Bidault

ANALYST, GREEN FINANCE INSTITUTE

Daisy Bidault joined the Green Finance Institute in June 2020 and works across its portfolio of coalitions and projects as well as supporting the Institute’s operations, marketing, research, events and communications functions.

Daisy recently completed a six-month internship at the UN Environment Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) in Geneva where she supported the Europe, LatAm and MENA regional coordinators on their sustainable finance initiatives.

She holds a BA (Hons) in Chinese Studies and Spanish from the University of Durham and spent a year in Beijing at Peking University. Daisy is also a bilingual French speaker.

Our Funders

The Green Finance Institute is grateful for the support and funding we receive from:

The Green Finance Institute also benefits from legal advice given pro bono by: