Global and domestic leaders in sustainable finance gather in Dublin for Climate Finance Week 2023

Global and domestic leaders in sustainable finance will gather in Dublin from Monday for Climate Finance Week 2023, November 20th-24th, which aims to encourage discourse and facilitate change in the financial services industry. The week-long series of events will see thought leaders from the UN, World Bank and leading financial organisations from around the world discuss best practice, challenges and opportunities for sustainability action in finance.

The event is hosted by the Irish-based International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence and seeks to promote training, research, and development for finance professionals as part of Ireland’s national Sustainable Finance Roadmap. To date, the International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence, along with Sustainable Finance Skillnet, has provided sustainable finance training to over 3,000 financial service professionals in Ireland.

The effects of climate change have been mounting over the last year, with 2023 now virtually certain to be the hottest year on record. This has culminated in tragic events that have led to thousands of deaths directly attributable to climate change. There is an urgent need for financial services expertise to assist in the transition to a net zero, nature positive and just economic future.

This year, a wide variety of events will take place, ranging from topics such as biodiversity finance and international collaboration for sustainable finance, to the aviation industry and the challenge of getting to net zero. In addition, it will cover updates to Ireland’s Sustainable Finance Roadmap, and includes the AIB Sustainability Conference. Attendees will be able to hear from an array of both international and homegrown speakers on financial sustainability across several disciplines, including politics, academia, and the financial services sector.

Events not to be missed include:  

    • Transition Finance Day on Tuesday 21st, which will include How Transition Finance Will Make or Break Our Net-Zero Future (Dublin Royal Convention Centre / Douglas Hyde Suite) (09:00-12:00) (Invite Only/Streaming), with speakers including Central Bank Deputy Governor Sharon Donnery, AIB CEO Colin Hunt and Marcus Neto, Director of the United Nations Development Programme Sustainable Finance Hub.

    • Biodiversity Finance Day, Dublin Royal Convention Centre (Invite only/Streaming), Monday 20th November, 3:15pm-4:45pm. Kickstart Climate Finance Week Ireland (#CFWI23) with Biodiversity Finance Day, featuring an illustrious lineup of world-renowned experts in biodiversity conservation and finance. Biodiversity finance is the cornerstone of our efforts to protect and restore the natural world. It encompasses a range of financial mechanisms, investments, and strategies designed to safeguard the rich tapestry of life on Earth, from the smallest pollinators to the mightiest forests. Speakers include Aoibhínn Ní Shúilleabháin, Chair of the Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity, and Mark Halle – Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Sustainable Development.

    • The rise of female entrepreneurs in sustainability, Dublin Royal Convention Centre (Invite Only/Streaming), Tuesday 21st November, 8:30am-10:00am. Held in partnership with 100 Women in Finance, this session will allow particpants to gain insight from three successful female entrepreneurs, who in their own businesses, have focused on addressing the challenges of Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG). Speakers include Minister of State for Financial Services Jennifer Carroll MacNeil. 

    • Financing the climate action plan, National Treasury Management Agency, Wednesday 22nd November (Invite Only/Streaming), 11:00-13:00. Held in partnership with the NTMA, this session comprises two panel discussions. The first, on financing the energy transition, and the second on sustainable mobility. Speakers include John Dillon, Head of New ERA & Paul Saunders, Senior Investment Director, ISIF.

    • A day devoted to practical workshops on upskilling in sustainable finance. On Thursday 23rd November when the Skills & Expertise Day: Empowering Climate Finance Practitioners takes place across Dublin.

Speaking ahead of the event, Climate Finance Week Ireland Chair, Stephen Nolan, said: “The financial services sector will play a critical role in our fight against climate change through mitigating emissions, and in financing adaptations to change that is already underway.



“I would encourage any financial services professional who has an interest in contributing to the transition to a net zero future to join us at Climate Finance Week. Ireland has already become a global hub for sustainable finance, and through key events like Climate Finance Week, we can continue to accelerate the change we all need to make for a better future. The challenge of climate change is enormous, but the message I want to send out to the financial services sector is that we have a critical role to play in making this transition happen.”

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill TD, Minister of State for Financial Services, Insurance and Credit Unions, said: “It is so exciting to see Ireland becoming a global centre of excellence for sustainable finance. Climate Finance Week presents us with an opportunity to set out how we can do things better and lead out stronger when it comes to building a more sustainable financial services sector. 



“There is a real sense of urgency and importance when it comes to supporting the transition to a net zero, nature positive and just economic future in financial services.  There is also huge potential for industry to grow and add more value in this area which will be important in helping to future proof the Irish economy.



“The Government fully supports the aims of Climate Finance Week and the efforts to upskill and improve the talents of our people – the finance professionals working in the area of sustainable finance.  Talent development is central to Ireland’s future climate finance policy and I commend the International Sustainable Finance Centre of Excellence and Skillnet Ireland for their contribution to training our finance professionals in sustainable finance – together they are making a real and lasting impact.”

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, said: “Our response to climate change, now so evident in our day-to-day lives, is driven by the Government’s Climate Action Plan which sets out the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy. Sustainable finance is a key component of the ambitious goals to meet net zero by 2050. At Skillnet Ireland we are working with all industry sectors, including the financial sector, to develop the talent needed to power the green transition.”

Colin Hunt, AIB Chief Executive Officer, said: “Given the scale of the climate crisis we are experiencing it is imperative for the finance sector to act now and fund the transition to net zero. The floods and fires we witnessed in Europe and elsewhere this year have reminded us once again that tackling climate change is the major challenge facing our generation. AIB is proud to sponsor Climate Finance Week, which further enables us to support and educate businesses in the transition to a greener future, building a more sustainable world for us all.”


AIB is this year’s Climate Finance Week headline sponsor, with the support of Skillnet Ireland, in association with the Department of Finance.