“Stepping up action has never been more urgent. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on the impacts of global warming at 1.5 °C, requested at COP 21, made this crystal clear. We are running out of time to stay under this limit. On the basis of current trends, the World Meteorological Organization expects a global average temperature increase of 3–5 °C by 2100.”  Patricia Espinosa, UNFCCC Executive Secretary (UN Climate Change Annual Report 2018)

GEFI – The Path to COP26

Global Ethical Finance Initiative

To help build momentum towards the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, the Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) has launched an integrated campaign of events entitled the “The Path to COP26”. As GEFI is a not-for-profit based in Glasgow and has been at the forefront of convening the ethical finance market for several years, it is uniquely placed to curate this campaign.

We believe the finance sector needs to act together to achieve decisive action at COP26, the most important climate summit since Paris. With a global footprint and Scottish roots, Global Ethical Finance Initiative has united the leading financial services stakeholders committed to action at COP26, with a campaign of over 30 events and activities aligned to three core themes: Adam Smith at the COP, Finance for Nature and Faith in the SDGs.

How to Join

It does not cost to join. You simply need to send an email stating “[insert name of your organisation] endorses the Path to COP26 campaign declaration” to

Thereafter your organisation will have the opportunity to:

  • Have your logo showcased on the dedicated campaign website
  • Promote the campaign to staff, members, clients and stakeholder (via emails, newsletters, events etc)
  • Promote the event on social media (using #pathtocop26)
  • Add Path to COP26 logo and website to your website
  • Provide relevant research / reports / articles / blogs / vlogs for our website and social media dissemination
  • Where appropriate share relevant thought leadership content prepared by Path to COP26 supporters with your stakeholders
  • Provide comments/content for media releases and insight articles facilitated by GEF
  • Align your relevant events with the Path to COP26 and have them listed on our website
  • Promote Path to COP26 events on your website
  • If applicable, support our Scottish pension campaign that we are working on with Make My Money Matter / ShareAction

The campaign aims to:


Provide a platform to connect and share knowledge, ideas and best practice.


Engage with financial institutions and organisations to amplify the pressing need for climate action.


Assist the financial sector to accelerate practical efforts to tackle climate change by signing up to relevant agendas.

Pathway of Activities

Next Event

With a year until the postponed COP26 Glasgow summit, we take in the views from leading banks and asset managers at The Path to COP26 – One Year to Go on 10 November, 14:00-15:30 (GMT).
David Pitt-Watson, former UNEP FI Chair, Ingrid Holmes of Federated Hermes, Isabel Fernandez of ING and Hamish Patrick of Shepherd and Wedderburn will join us to share perspectives from across finance.
The event will take place via Zoom and to register for FREE, please click this LINK. For more details, click HERE

Core workstreams

Adam Smith at COP26

During the 18th Century, the Scottish Enlightenment put Glasgow at the heart of world thinking. This year, as the world comes to Scotland, we ask what we can learn today from one of the great pioneers of the Scottish Enlightenment, the renowned economist and former professor at Glasgow University, Adam Smith.

To bring this to life, we will be running a series of events before and during COP26, exploring some of the macro systemic questions around our economic system and its relationship with the natural environment and purpose.


We will be reflecting on his most famous work – The Wealth of Nations- considering the challenges we are facing in the 21st Century. The new economic age of Smith demanded new ways of thinking, just as the new realities posed by the climate crises do. We will  be producing an edited volume with a series of essays inspired by the five books that make up the Wealth of Nations.

Faith in the SDGs

Faith groups have played a huge role in the development of ethical finance, from its 19th century beginnings to the present day. Our Edinburgh Finance Declaration brought together faith groups to identify the values they share relevent to finance. Looking ahead to COP26, involving faith groups represents an important avenue for action, ensuring their endowments are invested responsibly and including voices from around the world. This workstream is sponsored by  UK Islamic Finance Council (UKIFC)


At COP26, we believe that faith-based finance has a key role to play, particularly in brining diverse voices from around the world to the table to understand the shared values and goals which drive humanity. We are planning, in conjunction with the Economic Secretary to  the Treasury, to convene a Global Islamic   Taskforce meeting during COP26 where we will showcase a toolkit to promote Green Sukuk as a vehicle to drive climate finance.

Finance for Nature

Achieving decisive action on climate requires nature. Alongside the need to protect nature for its own sake, nature-based solutions to climate change have huge potential to prevent temperature rises. However, investments which harm nature are currently outfunded 100:1 compared to those which protect nature. We are working with UNDP, UNEP, Climate Advisers and WEF to finance the protection of nature.

We will build on this work at COP26, hosting our unique Finance for Nature in Nature discussion series at Ross Priory on the banks of  the  stunning Loch Lomond, situated a mere 20 minute train journey from  the  heart  of  Glasgow  where  COP26  will  be hosted.

This workstream is sponsored by UNDP and Global Canopy.



Strategic Partners

Scottish Government

Signatories: Financial Institutions

Signatories: Professional & Industry Bodies

Signatories: Advocacy & Campaigns

Signatories: Environment

Signatories: Academic

Signatories: Services

The Benefits

Showcase Your Commitment – brand profile

  • Demonstration of your commitment to the climate agenda
  • Logo included on the event website and associated marketing materials
  • Extend brand reach and thought leadership content through digital comms

Guidance – connecting you to the right agenda & facilitated engagement

  • Signposting to the right agenda for your organisation and stakeholders
  • Facilitated introductions to aligned stakeholders
  • Identify and harness best practice

Events Access – be part of the UK’s largest gathering of global leaders for 2021

  • Priority invitations to GEFI events through to 2021
  • Opportunity to attend / participate in GEFI 2020 & 2021 events programme (incl. COP26 in Glasgow)
  • Complimentary / discounted tickets for clients / members

Right Agenda

Rather than creating our own standards or frameworks, we are seeking to identify and signpost our stakeholders to the leading global initiatives. We have provided indicative examples below and, where appropriate, encourage you to consider engaging – if you are not already done so – in the right agenda for your organisation:

Commit to Net Zero


Principles of Responsible Banking

Collective Commitment to Climate Action

Asset Owners / Asset Managers

Principles for Responsible Investment

The Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change

Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance

Climate Action 100+

Net Zero Asset Managers Initiative

Net Zero Carbon 10


Principles for Sustainable Insurance

Consumer Pensions

Make My Money Matter

Join us

If you would like to be a part of our exciting journey in 2020 & 2021, then please email us at


The 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) – organised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – will take place in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021.

In 2021, the eyes of the world will be focused on Scotland, when senior politicians from across the globe convene in Glasgow to negotiate the acceleration of efforts to tackle climate change. COP26 will be the most important climate summit since the landmark Paris Agreement was ratified at COP21 in 2015.

To limit global warming to 1.5 °C, as agreed in Paris, CO2 emissions must fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from a 2010 baseline.

In Glasgow, global leaders will be challenged to demonstrate tangible progress on their ambitious climate pledges that will help to transform our economies and societies.

Climate Finance

Although widely recognised as having a fundamental role to play in delivering the Paris Agreement, the financial sector has often been a cause, rather than a solution, to some of the pressing challenges faced by our planet and its people.

The sector sits at the heart of today’s global markets and therefore has a critical role to play in supporting the decarbonisation of the global economy. It must also adapt to changing global consumption and productions patterns that consider environmental impact.

According to UNEP FI (see article) financial opportunities associated with overhauling economies towards climate-compatibility include:

    • New risks need to be understood, identified, assessed, managed, and eventually disclosed on, by institutions across financial industries.
    • The transition to low-carbon and climate-resilient economies require additional investment at an order of magnitude of at least USD 60 trillion, from now until 2050.


To decarbonize, through renewable energy and energy efficiency, the world’s energy system.


To adapt man-made infrastructure to changing meteorological conditions.


To reorganise global land-use im ways that meet growing demands for agricultural commodities while stopping tropical deforestation.

For financial institutions to become determined enablers and catalysts of the climate economic transition, they need to understand the commercial risks and opportunities implied, and know how to act on them.

Climate change is a large, systemic financial risk that will change asset values as investment moves away from high carbon assets towards a low carbon economy.

Along with Edinburgh, London and Glasgow, we are currently assessing select international jurisdictions who have submitted requests to GEFI to partner and host events in 2020.

Other Activities

Full Digital Presence

Lead and contribute to the online conversation

Live stream of the conference

High Profile Media Campaigns

Greening Your Wallet

Financing the SDGs

High Level Stakeholder Engagment


About GEFI

The Global Ethical Finance Initiative (GEFI) oversees, organises and coordinates a series of programmes to promote finance for positive change.

Along with delivering practical projects, GEFI annually hosts in Edinburgh the premier platform that convenes the world’s foremost business, political, civic and social leaders of society to network, share, co-develop and shape a fairer, more sustainable financial system.

Please visit for further information.