Pictured from left-right: Sustainable Nation CEO Stephen Nolan; Sarah Dempsey, Head of Sustainable Business, AIB; Michael D’Arcy, Minister for Financial Services & Insurance, Department of Finance and Paul Healy, Chief Executive of Skillnet Ireland.
Climate Week 2018 saw the launch of Sustainability Skillnet’s sustainable finance skills and talent investment programme for 2019. The 2019 programme will help to upskill workers across the insurance, banking, funds industry and asset management sectors in sustainable finance and responsible investment.
The skills required to understand and develop the sourcing and spending of the finance needed to tackle climate change has been identified as a key priority under the 2018 Action Plan of IFS 2020, the Government’s Strategy for the development of Ireland’s international financial services sector.
Underpinning national ambitions in this area and ensuring private capital support for national decarbonisation efforts, it is critical that Irish located capital market participants possess the right skillset to support green and sustainable finance innovation efforts.
The programme,funded by Skillnet Ireland, was announced at Climate Week Ireland, a week-long series of events to promote sustainable business organised by Sustainable Nation Ireland, drew to a close.
Minister for Financial Services Michael D’Arcy welcomed the announcement. Commenting, he said: “As Minister of State with responsibility for the implementation of the IFS2020 Strategy, I have placed a strong emphasis on the sustainable and responsible investment agenda. And while I look forward to supporting the continued growth of this sector in Ireland, this will only be achieved with the right industry skills and talent mix in place. As part of Climate Week, that is why I welcome today’s announcement and applaud Skillnet Ireland’s support for this critical agenda.”
Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said: “We are entering a period of unprecedented change and opportunity. Advances in technology, shifting consumption patterns, changing demographics, and a multitude of competitive and geopolitical forces, including Brexit, are constantly driving new skills requirements for employers. We support Ireland’s ambition to become a global hub for green and sustainable finance. Sustainability Skillnet have developed a substantial programme which includes innovative solutions in bio business, green / sustainable procurement and bioeconomy.”
A significant aspect of addressing the climate change challenge and driving the transition to a low-carbon and sustainable economy will involve increased investment in sustainable infrastructure and low carbon technologies. A recent Deloitte report puts the Irish investment required at €50 billion between now and 2030.
Commenting, Stephen Nolan, CEO Sustainable Nation Ireland, said: “Public funds alone will not be sufficient to cover the full cost of the investment required. Mobilising private sector capital is essential if we are to reach our decarbonisation targets in the coming years, and if we are to truly transition to becoming a low carbon society at a European and national level. Developing our national skillsets in sustainable finance will of course have a critical role. Today’s announcement for 2019 serves to underpin our ambitions in this area. None of this would be possible without the support of Skillnet Ireland and highlights the unique role it plays in developing the skills that we require to build a sustainable future.”