Massey is Missing COP26 – Part IV: The Role Of The Canadian Financial Sector in Expanding Carbon Intensive Projects
We are witnessing major shifts in lending and investment policies across the globe by banks, pension funds and other major sources of capital to low or zero carbon emission products and infrastructure. Are Canadian financial institutions moving quickly enough to this new reality? Are Canadian savings products aligned to Canadian commitments to a green economy? Are banks’ lending portfolios aligned to the commitments being made by the Canadian government internationally at COP21 and domestically in the most recent Throne Speech?
Joining us for this conversation will be Mairead Lavery – President and CEO, Export Development Canada, Christine Bergeron – CEO, Vancity, Adam Scott – Director, Shift Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health, and will be hosted by Rosemary McCarney, former Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations (2015-2019), and the 2020-2021 Bill Graham Centre / Massey College Resident Visiting Scholar in Foreign and Defence Policy and Global Affairs.
To watch the recording of, The Role Of The Canadian Financial Sector (Especially Banks And Pension Funds) in Expanding Carbon Intensive Projects and the Disconnect Between Their Investments And Canada’s Paris Commitments, please click here.
Mairead Lavery is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Export Development Canada. Since joining Export Development Canada in 2014, Mairead Lavery has put values and ethics at the center of her leadership approach. Appointed President and CEO on February 5, 2019, Mairead set out three pillars for her leadership: Champion for Trade; Environmental, Social and Governance Responsibility; and Inclusion, Diversity and Equity. These values are the centerpiece of her – and EDC’s – business agenda.
Under her direction, EDC has pursued ambitious objectives, achieving unprecedented growth, and helping more Canadian companies do business in 200 markets around the world, while generating over $100 billion in trade and investment annually. In 2020, EDC became a major contributor to the Federal government’s COVID-19 economic response, helping deliver billions of dollars in liquidity to companies across Canada.
EDC also stands as the single largest financier of Canadian cleantech, a proud supporter of women-owned and women-led businesses, and regularly ranks among Canada’s Top 100 Employers. Mairead is also the Board Chair for the EDC subsidiary, FinDev Canada, Canada’s international development finance institution.
Prior to joining EDC, Mairead held executive roles at Bombardier, where she managed a range of large complex portfolios over a sixteen-year career. She is a native of Northern Ireland, has a degree in Management and Accounting from Queen’s University Belfast, and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She is also the first woman to occupy EDC’s chief executive role in its 75-plus year history. In 2015, Mairead experienced another very proud milestone: becoming a Canadian citizen.
Christine Bergeron is the Interim President and CEO of Vancity, Canada’s largest community credit union, Christine believes that banking plays a vital role in developing a healthy society—building the well-being of people and, at the same time, ensuring the long-term sustainability of the communities in which they live and work.
Before being appointed to this role, Christine served as Vancity’s Chief Member Services Officer, leading the Member Experience & Community Engagement divisions. In this role, Christine oversaw services to Vancity’s 543,000 members, including its branch network and retail, business, commercial and wealth management operations. She also led the credit union’s community impact and investment strategies.
Christine has worked at Vancity for over nine years during which she’s held several leadership roles including VP of Impact Investing, Wealth Management & Community Real Estate, and VP of Community Business Banking. Her achievements in fostering community impact, social justice and environmental sustainability have earned her accolades from Business in Vancouver magazine, which included her in its 2007 “Top 40 Under 40” list. In 2012, the Association of Women in Finance gave her the Rising Star award, and in 2017 Clean50 awards recognized her for her dedication to sustainability.
Prior to joining Vancity, much of Christine’s career involved working with entrepreneurs, financing innovative companies and building financial firms – all focused within the cleantech, sustainability and impact investing sectors. This included being a co-founder of Shoreline West Asset Management Inc. and being a founding team member at Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital. Christine was an Adjunct Professor and Lecturer at the Sauder School of Business and is a board member of Aviso Wealth.
Christine chairs the board of the Women’s Enterprise Centre and lectures on finance and impact investing at various universities, in addition to other advisory roles at community organizations and social enterprises.
She is personally committed to issues related to women, impact financing, and community, with a particular focus on equality and empowerment.
Adam Scott, Director, Shift: Action for Pension Wealth and Planet Health. Adam is a climate change expert with more than 15 years of domestic and international experience in climate policy, energy and finance. Adam attended his first UN Climate Conference in 2005, and has since participated as an official observer at ten climate COP meetings, including Paris in 2015. Previously, Adam was Senior Advisor to climate & energy think-tank Oil Change International and managed Environmental Defence Canada’s Climate & Energy Program. Adam has advised governments, provided expert media commentary, and published numerous reports on the low-carbon transition. At Shift, he works with a wide-range of stakeholders to bring international climate leadership into Canada’s financial sector.
Rosemary McCarney is the Inaugural Pearson-Sabia Distinguished Visitor In International Relations at Trinity College at the University of Toronto as well as the 2020/2021 Bill Graham Centre/Massey College Resident Visiting Scholar in Foreign and Defence Policy. She was Canada’s Ambassador to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament from 2015 until the Fall of 2019. Rosemary’s career has spanned every sector of the economy from law, academia, technology, international development to multilateral diplomacy in over 100 countries.
Thank you for your interest in Massey’s five-part virtual climate series, Massey is #MissingCOP26. These online events are free and open to all. To learn about other events in the series and for more information, we invite you to visit our main page: masseycollege.ca/missing-cop26/