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Tony Blair speaks at Sustainable Finance Summit in New York



On Tuesday the global headquarters of JPMorgan Chase in New York City will host a high level discussion on the global economy, politics and the evolving role of corporate responsibility.

270 Park Avenue was originally built in 1961 for Union Carbide (now part of Dow Chemical) but is today used as the headquarters of JPMorgan Chase. Under their tenure the skyscraper has undergone a full renovation in order to achieve a LEED Platinum certification in 2012. The US Green Building Council developed LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) as a set of rating systems for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of green buildings, homes, and neighbourhoods.

JPMorgan Chase is the world’s fifth largest bank by total assets. What they are thinking and doing really matters. The bank has a long and illustrious history and an equally long history of controversy. As one of the NYC Climate Change Week’s major US banks calling for leadership in addressing climate change, as a signatory to the UN-sponsored Principles of Responsible Investment and submitters of a transparency report with copious pages on their website about their commitment to corporate responsibility they should be praised. Conversely Enron, Worldcom and Madoff et al. loom large in their history.

Which all makes this particular banking event organiser and their Manhattan-LEED venue appropriate for a serious discussion about corporate responsibility and sustainable finance.

On the agenda is the electric grid, investor perspectives, impact investing, supply chains, funding utilities in carbon constrained markets, the chief financial officers’ perspective and a geopolitical view on the politics and policy of climate change from the former Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Tony Blair. Mr Blair has worked for the bank in a ‘senior advisory capacity’ since 2008. Tony Blair has previously spoken with the Administrator of USAID, Raj Shah, about Impact Investing in 2014.

This event is welcome. If big (the biggest) banks are to do anything, they have to play a major part in finding a sustainable solution to climate change and corporate irresponsibility. We look forward to some of their cogitation being made public.


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