A look back at last year's 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Positive outcomes from COP28 include emphasized importance of a 1.5°C (34.7°F) limit on global warming, which included the phase-out of fossil fuels in the final wording for the first time. Host Eva Cairns invites Faith Ward to share her valuable insights on the latest podcast.


Eva Cairns: Hi everyone, I'm Eva Cairns. You're listening to the abrdn Sustainability Inspires podcast, discussing all things relating to sustainability and responsible investing. Today I'm delighted to have with me as my guest, Faith Ward.

Faith, is currently Chief Responsible Investment Officer for Brunel Pension Partnership and Chair of the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC). These roles enable her to advocate for better appreciation of systemic risks, as well as design solutions that embed such risks, for example, climate change into the operations of finance and investment, an industry she has served for over 25 years. Faith has also many other roles, including being a member of the Ethics Investment Advisory Group for the Church of England National Investing Bodies, member of Invest Advisory Group for ISSB, member of the UK Green Taxonomy Advisory Group and Climate Ambassador for the National Federation of Women's Institutes. Faith is a founder and formerly Co-Chair of the Transition Pathway Initiative and currently Non-Executive Director. She was also the Chair of the Reporting and Assessment Advisory Committee for the United Nations Principles for Responsive Investment, the PRI. So, Faith, what an amazing bio. It's such a pleasure to have you on our podcast. Welcome.

Faith Ward: Thank you. And thank you very much for giving me the time to chat.

Eva Cairns: Yes, I'm really looking forward to our conversation. Maybe we kick off with just telling us a bit more about your own journey and what inspired you to focus on your very active role in embedding sustainability considerations and climate change into investment decision making.

Faith Ward: Well, thank you. I mean, I'll start off with where there was a plan and then it kind of went a little bit off beam as often life does take you and I did environmental science and geography as a degree. I then got inspired by the sources of a lot of the things of the challenges I saw within the environment, more within business, I did a Master’s which focused on business strategy. And so that was where I wanted to kind of focus the time and attention was trying to bring the world to business environments, so recognizing there was a bit of language gap there so that this would be a way of achieving those sort of environmental outcomes in a business focus that would be the way forward. When I started with the Environment Agency they wanted somebody to come in and do environmental accounting, so to green the finance professions as it were.

So, in terms, which I feel almost brings you full circle to today and a lot of the work we talk in terms of accounts and Capex and some of that we talk about quite a lot and so I do feel as if I’ve gone in a big circle, as it were. So I started with them and I went on maternity leave in the early 2000s and whist I was away the team I was working with got merged with the pension team and whilst I was on maternity leave as well and just towards the end of it and the Environment Agency's pension fund is front page of the Independent for its investments in Shell and BP and needed to kind of explain kind of the difference of impacts of what it did as a state government, as an environment agency, but then also its pensions funds obviously investing in and in many equities of which BP and Shell were too, and that was into the January 2003 and I came back basically a few weeks later and my new job was born. So, I didn't consciously enter the world of investment. It just sort of happened around me. I came back and I would say I sort of fell into it by accident.

But it's one of those areas that you talk to people who often and sort of come into this area, perhaps they're assigned into sort of pensions or investments and think well, of I might do this for a bit, this is all a bit mmm. And then when you realize just how impactful, how interesting it is. And go wow, I do not want to leave. I’ve had these conversations with many younger people and people coming into the industry who would not think perhaps pensions as a particularly inspired career choice until you sort of open up the world of what that could look like and then, you go wow, and that's how you can bring about real change. This is a real, you know, you have your levers and inspire people that way so that yes, once in there, you never want to leave because you realize just how interesting it actually is. But the honest answer is a bit of an accident I have to thank the Independent newspaper for creating a role back in the early 2000s. One of the reasons I've been in this role for such a long time is the Environment Agency just happened to be one of the organizations that was sort of first this sort of the, you know, how does your organizational objectives align with what you're doing with the pension fund for that, or you know, that pension facility that you're providing to your staff and that kind of the philosophy that might be around that.

To be fair the Environment Agency wasn't doing anything particularly unusual. It's just that the world started to wake up to the fact that perhaps these things need to be more aligned. And that's a development you that seen quite rapidly then during the 2000s and that’s almost a given now, and you talk to any large corporate and those two things are quite well connected at board level all the way down. But still relatively new. So that’s only 20 or 25 years ago that still it was not yet to be quite so normal people just saw them as two separate things.

Eva Cairns: Yeah, that's interesting and I think you're absolutely right that we still have a way to go for people understanding how impactful their pension is and understanding where their pension is invested. I think individuals quite often don't appreciate the impact that they could have through that. And so, as you say the pensions industry being able to mobilize so much capital that has a positive impact and considers maybe the long-term risks of many of the sustainability issues that we're facing. So that's fascinating to hear and interesting. I think it happens to a lot of people that they think maybe they start their career in one space and then move to something and find something that is where they want to be. And maybe thinking about you a bit more personally, is there something personal and interesting, maybe an unexpected fact about yourself that you would like to share?

Faith Ward: That's always a tricky one. When we start to think about sort of your dim and distant past. I mean, I could have gone down a very different route. I must have been passionate about the environment and those issues, but I was also quite into, I was a member of the air training core, and I was actively thinking of career in the in uniform, in the in the RAF. And I was actually part of the first women they started to consider as pilots and I was one of the first women permitted to do the test. It was for a scholarship. It was a flying scholarship rather than to actually apply. But we were the first cohort ever to go down to RAF Biggan Hill to do the tests. Some things don’t change. Some things didn't change about these experiences anyway. I did quite spectacularly badly on these tests. Perhaps that wasn't the direction of travel for me, but I recently listened to a lady called Mandy Hickson, who actually does quite a lot of motivational and sort of management talking. So, she's known as being famous for being in the RAF, as being the first tornado pilot. And she shared, actually this is literally just a few weeks ago and she was saying how the vast majority of almost all women would fail those tests at that time, just because the way the instruction and it’s interesting, at the time, she was a lot more tenacious, she did not let these things; I had a think and I thought I’ll look at something else to do and she stuck it out. And they say that they famously became this very successful tornado pilot and did her tours of duty. So, it was just really interesting. She’s literally a year younger than me. And we exchanged, we talked about it, because I said I also failed, because she also failed these tests as well initially. But yeah, it was it was interesting to see how I think now we're so much more aware of perhaps gender biases within perhaps certain techniques and things like that, even in algorithms when it comes to kind of AI. That's kind of quite a hot topic. But it wasn't until a few weeks ago I found out that I wasn't unique, which made me feel a little bit better about spectacularly crashing and burning in the sort of the early nineties, very much the time of Top Gun. It was inspiring at the time but yes I could have been put in a very different direction I think.

Eva Cairns: Yeah interesting, and definitely very unexpected.

Faith Ward: This is probably safer and better for the world at large I think.

Eva Cairns: And then so, what was the key driver. What was the key driver for you to then say, No, actually I'm not going to go down that direction anymore? Was it the failed tests or something else that happened at the at the time?

Faith Ward: Well, I think it was partly that to contribute to it and obviously just the numbers as well, I could do the maths, in terms of the vast number of applicants to the places they were making available, and thinking this is quite a high bar, and thinking you’re setting yourself up here and then is quite tough. And so I was 16, so both these things are happening at the age of 16, I just finished my GCSEs and I went to spend a month with my uncle who lives in Denmark and I spent some time with, essentially his sister-in-law, who was just a couple of years older than me and I got to see Denmark and it is a country that kind of got kind of the whole environment agenda way before, and just dissecting waste recycling, you just feel a sense of this is a country that demonstrates you can actually do some of these things differently and of and some of the challenges I was looking at was in renewable energy. And I actually did my A-level project on renewable energy sources for the Isle of Man, which is a very windy place, was definitely a very sort of windy place, and it of course is an island, so I was looking at wave technology. And I also spent quite a lot of time in the lab finding out the calorific value of various farm animal feces and to see what to do with that. But that was back in, so, we're talking, I think it was the late 1980s, early 90s, and so that interest was there. But then actually then going to a country where you felt, no this can happen this is in real life, it's not just a fantasy and that was the turning point. I thought, no, actually you can make this a reality, and this is worth exploring. Yeah. So, I was there doing projects on wind power.

Eva Cairns: Interesting. Yeah, yeah. That's very interesting and actually before I joined abrdn in 2010, I also worked on a number of projects, including looking at wind farms on the Western Isles of Scotland. So, that was really interesting. I remember being on the Isle of Barra, which is a small island where you land with a plane on the beach, which is quite fabulous, and they tried to use renewables to be self-sufficient, really. And I thought that was also I thought that was quite fascinating to think about, how renewables can help places also become more self-sufficient. So, yeah.

Faith Ward: Yeah, that energy security was very much more the driving force probably yes at that time, and also the cost where it's now actually seen as a bigger picture and more at play. But still, the strength is still worth looking at it.

Eva Cairns: Absolutely. And in terms of obviously now you've focused a lot on sustainability, climate in particular. The last time we met, we were both at COP28 in Dubai, that's just completed for the first time ever, we now have seen a transition away from fossil fuels reflected in the final COP text that was agreed. So it would be really interesting to hear your thoughts. Do you think COP was a success? I know it's not as easy to answer in that black-and-white way like that. But what do you think was successful? What do you think should be the priorities as we look to 2024 to put some of the things agree to COP into practice?

Faith Ward: It's always such an emotional rollercoaster COP, because there are you know, you're desperate for everybody to agree and change. Also, You can see the scale of the challenge in trying to get that much consensus. I mean, you'll know we work with clients, we work with various different collaborations, getting consensus and then agreeing with people on just about any topic is tricky. Let alone when we've got these countries. I’m always slightly in awe of the negotiators in the challenges that they have to produce anything at all. So, I'm always very mindful of that and I was really happy that the language of 1.5 is in that text, that the fact that it still feels very hard work and to get there, the gap between the ambition and what we're doing is still enormous. But the fact that we're still saying that's the right, that that is still the right target to be aiming, anything no greater than. So that was the North Star, as the COP President kept calling it. The important thing, that I think the worst fear is that people were concerned that this was the COP where we’re going to have to... Now, this is this is still the right answer. I think it's really important. And obviously, where being in Dubai, the COP presidency itself, quite controversial. I personally believe we probably wouldn't have got the text that we did on fossil fuels without it coming from someone who has that. And I think that they obviously got skin in the game, but I think it needed somebody with that knowledge of that sector to have some of those negotiations with countries who were resistant to any language going in there. We saw the language going in there on Tuesday. It was a bit meh and thinking, well, is this is what is coming out this isn't quite the COP we were hoping for. This is the first global stock take. It is the moment where we’re meant to ratchet up the ambition. Tuesday’s text did not give me that warm feeling that we had moved forward in any shape or form, so that shift on Wednesday morning GMT, lunchtime in Dubai. So, I think it is really important. I think we shouldn't diminish just how hard it was to actually have language on fossil fuels for the first time I'm absolutely in the same boat in terms of that we want to see a phase-out. IIGCC, Brunel very clear, they want to see a phase out and to stop using that language I think would have reinforced it. And so, I think in that in that regard, we have sent some right signals. They only have to look at things like the Climate Action Tracker to say, well, right, we’ve been talking now we've got all these commitments, these calls for this reinforcement and all that kind of diplomatic language that comes out. Where does that actually leave us when you actually add it all up in terms of those commitments and actually I think the Climate Action Trackers a good go to source; and I used it quite extensively in communicating the answers, not really much change. So, it is still, it's promising what we need to do, it is the action plan. It is what you need to go away and do next time. I think I was quite taken, you know, it says I was quite taken with that action orientation of the presidency and they were, they didn’t hide about the fact that they didn’t, that we needed to kind of grab it and go with it. And so, Sultan Al Jaber, saying and also cautioned an agreement is only as good as its implementation. And I thought that was a really good way. And I've been using it to round off my sort of summary. We have to implement. We have also got to implement it in the spirit, which is obviously something that… was also quite keen to emphasize about the, the way that there's probably quite a lot of interpretation, but let's interpret it in the spirit of what was intended to, let's go for that higher ambition that this is a floor, not a ceiling. You know, it's getting there. So, I felt a lot of the narrative around it gave me a bit more confidence that people understood what we needed to do next. And but, is it a success or not? I think it has yet to prove itself. It's just the beginning.

Eva Cairns: Absolutely, that depends on what happens after COP, right?

Faith Ward: Yeah, so what's your view?

Eva Cairns: I do think that in many ways it was a success, to be honest, because of, like you say, 1.5 still the North Star, fossil fuels in the text for the first time, many topics were addressed for the first time with real attention to putting finance and commitments behind it, like food and agriculture and the Just Transition Work program. So, I thought actually a lot of good things have happened and I mean, it will never be because a COP process like that is difficult because what you see at the end is almost like the minimum common denominator. And so, it will not be strong enough and high enough in terms of to finance for many. But at the same time, I think a really strong demonstration of actually so many people behind this now it's going in the right direction. We now really just need to start seeing emissions go down, emissions peaking and go down. That is ultimately the proof point in terms of seeing that all these commitments and declarations are put into practice, and we are seeing some of the indicators shift to green and emissions decreasing. So, I felt quite positive afterwards I have to say.

Faith Ward: I have to say that the key thing I was going to say in terms of transitioning the fossil fuels is very pleased with is that this decade, yeah. I think I was concerned that we were going to see something that will push them out, but that we need to start transitioning away from fossil fuels this decade. Yeah, this decade is now only basically six years left. So, that means like tomorrow. Straightaway. No messing. We’ve got to get on with it, so I think that to add in this decade was quite an important component of that.

Eva Cairns: Yeah absolutely, and then related to COP, you are obviously out there as well, and very active in your role as chair of the IIGCC board and just I wanted to explore what really inspires you to go above and beyond I guess your day job maybe with Brunel and what benefits such collaborative organisations like the IIGCC deliver in your view?

Faith Ward: I don’t know what inspires me to get up and I do wonder that myself, really, the sanity that goes with that. I think it's seeing that end goal about understanding that achieving some of those changes we’re never going to do that as individuals. There's nobody who has all the skill sets, to having the knowledge that have all the levers and the capacity to do that. It is these are huge systemic challenges that we're dealing with. And you can bring your skills to the mix, but you need to work with a whole range of people who can bring things to the table. So, I think for me it's always recognising that that teamwork committed is a much more efficient, much better quality outcomes. And because we just don't have that. Yeah, I don't know anybody with the skill set to take on these issues unilaterally. You just need that cross-support. And I think as an asset owner in particular, you would always say that you're at the top of the investment chains, so you also have this helicopter view of everything beneath you. And it's all so vast, you’ve got feet in thousands of companies, say there's no way again you can say working in partnership I think it's just an intrinsic part of what being asset owners as you also have to work with your asset managers, you have to work with companies, you need to work with other investors. So, that spirit of just, you know, getting stuck in and working in partnerships and intrinsic part of your day job.

I mean, IIGCC is absolutely amazing and I’m so proud to be its chair, they just blow me away with the quality of what they do and who put together. I mean, part of that is that the way that they get the best of you and me and all the other members that are part of it because it's member-led. And I think that that gives you that strong sort of investor voice because it's actually the investors who are shaping that, and they facilitate that while also providing some fantastic expertise to kind of deliver and also to articulate that. And that's the team up there. They are just amazing across all of these different areas. I mean, it's got it's about I think about 400 organisations across 27 countries and about 60 trillion of AUM, although there’s lots of double counting in there. But it does pack some punch and it does get you a bit more attention. So, I often, when you put in conversation, my spiel in terms of introducing who I am, and I sort of roll off and you know drop the numbers because then it just catches the attention, in representing a membership body that you know wants to make a difference and wants to work together. So, you know incredibly powerful. But I think it comes from its sort of member-led dimension and being very pragmatic, it's very difficult. You sort of also sit in that ground where we just basically have to accept quite early on in your career that you're going to make at least everybody disappointed. Half of them don’t think you’re going hard enough and half of them think you’re going far too fast. So, it's just an inevitable component of these types of roles where we're trying to navigate between the reality of the market and the aspirations we have in this sort of societal sense and indeed science-led sense and IIGCC also I think has to and it really does want to be practical and provide tools that, you know, that people can actually go away do and actually has done so in huge quantities. And so, it's certainly enabled us to progress our agenda massively in a way I would never have been able to do and on my own.

Eva Cairns: Yeah absolutely, and as a member, I would absolutely echo that, there's so many groups out there but the IIGCC provides a really good platform for two things, I think really getting together with the industry and different members to discuss some of the issues and actually see how do we really do this in practice, you know, and also to provide some consistency, methodologies. You know, the Net Zero Investment Framework, we use that. I think there's so many good things that come out that actually help standardise and align a little bit, so we use common language.

Faith Ward: So, the corporates are a bit like that as well. So, the feedback we're having from underlying companies, is that they want harmonisation. They don't want you to be asking 15 different variants. The more consistent we can be, the more that they can go, well, we can respond to that because you’re all coming to us with the same ask. We can coalesce around that. And so, there they respond well to that. So, I do think it's also an efficient way of actually get to the change, so not only does it help us to be more consistent but it also helps all the way down the chain, so they all know exactly what those expectations are and then there’s a much higher probability of them being enacted.

Eva Cairns: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, let's move on to talk a little bit about challenges and the main challenges you've maybe personally experienced in your career journey and how you've overcome them, but also looking specifically at the key challenges the industry is facing, particularly asset owners, to deliver on their net zero commitments and how do we overcome that?

Faith Ward: Really quite a big question.

Eva Cairns: Yes, it is.

Faith Ward: And I'm, I think I've been I have been quite blessed, I think, in my career from much from a challenge perspective in terms of a very supportive mandate from my employers. And obviously the Environment Agency is also still involved with Brunel Pension Partnership. So, seeing what I do and valuing what I do, I've always felt that my organisation, my employer, has really valued that and that’s been very important to me. And I think that allows you to be a lot more resilient to then the knocks you get when even your employer has that belief. We know the industry has been far from that space and still, to be fair, there’s still some work to go. So, I think that the biggest challenge is trying to, basically, being thought of as slightly bonkers. So we’re talking about 20/30 years ago, so you want me to think about my climate footprint, or how much water I'm consuming, or why does how much electricity I use matter, or the gender diversity of the board, or human rights of this community group and things that I do feel I think that's the shift I've seen over those three decades is the shift in being much more accepted as being just good business practice. And actually, people don't think I’m quite so bonkers anymore which is quite pleasant, but I think the way I try to overcome those is, it is incremental. Sometimes it gets quite critical and that me incremental and, you know rather than ambitious. It's sometimes just chipping away, also trying to frame things in a way that actually benefits the person that you're trying to influence the behaviour to try to commit to it as to why doing what I'm suggesting or thinking or let’s just think about problems and not even just trying to solve the problem. Even just going, here’s the problem we face, how do you think we could solve it more collaboratively, you know, step by step? But what's in their best interests. And certainly, I mean, a lot of my work has been focused on the finance industry itself, particularly with asset managers and trying to be trying to hit that sort of progression. So, always sort of nudging outside the comfort zone, but also in the realms of kind of how would this actually benefit them as a business in terms of and perhaps, if I’m asking these things, whether the clients might be interested in this, so where actually this might be something of a USP for your business. So, to say you’re doing the analysis. So, you can say you’ve got this under control, to convey that this might actually benefit. So, try and work out how you can that the carrots really I think you really do need to go to be honest that’s still all the way with the COP28, you know it’s the how can we make this a less painful experience. We know the transition will be deeply painful for a whole host of people. If we don't do it, it's going to be even worse. But trying the way to kind of bring people on board is sell them kind of how this would benefit them. You know, if you talk about renewable energy, it becomes hurdles to overcome but then you get kind of that, you know, potentially cheaper source of energy and that's quite attractive if you're looking at energy prices that are going through the roof as a way of kind of bringing that down. You know, how can we sort of sell those things into those into the different groups and I think is sort of looking now more specifically as the challenges of asset owners. I think it is it is just really hard. I think one of the benefits I also had is some of what I was asking for felt like kind of quite easy wins now compared to today’s standard and things have just got more sophisticated, more nuanced when you realise that actually some of the solutions are actually a lot more complicated than perhaps we give them credit for when we said let’s just do this and going actually that’s quite hard and it's just like makes your head hurt quite a lot of quite a lot of thinking it needs to happening again, and it comes back to that collaboration working and more brains into the picture, cause it is quite hard. Our beneficiaries, our stakeholders are very keen on where they see as the right answer, our policymakers are just trying to struggle to balance the books, but also the balance of some of the other demands on them. And there is just a massive disconnect between what we're being asked to do and the market reality in which we operate. And that gulf between those two is quite enormous, which is why when we were at COP big … were engaging with the government here in the UK, in Europe, it's about that consistent policy, about that clarity of policy direction, because if we have that, we can invest behind it, we can put our capital so we can start to push things in the right direction. But we need that confidence that comes from, that policies, policy certainty might be a little bit too much to hope for, but, you know, just a little bit more consistency, and I think not just then removes that element of risk and then it's around kind of how do you then identify with normal levels of investment risk, technology risk, market risk, you can go into, you know, sort of normal territory, but trying to that longer-term policy risk and try to reduce that so that you can move forward. That to me feels like a gap. And also, just communicating then communicating that as well as the world just got more complicated, it’s quite hard I think to explain why you might be still invested things that look quite challenging. You’re trying explain that it’s about real-world impact. Let's step away, that's not going to achieve some of the changes you're looking for. Most people don't understand how capital markets are. They don't need to. You wouldn't expect most people to understand it, but it is actually so important as to how they work in relation to what we're being asked to do. And, you know, some of those holdings, particularly as they transition how do we actually bring about, as you said, how do we actually make this real, how do we actually do this in practice is a lot messier and isn't as clear cut as people might say. People do like black and white solutions and unfortunately, this is an area where you’re just about not going to get them just about anywhere. It's just about trying to communicate that you are making progress, and you are authentic in what you're doing, is really hard.

Eva Cairns: Yeah. I couldn't agree more, absolutely. The policy incentives and also the difficulty of, you know, not just having a good-looking portfolio carbon footprint, but actually the real world impact, you know, and how you achieve that. And it is a lot harder to explain that if you're maybe still holding something that companies, sectors that need to transition that we need and a 2050 world and so that's really interesting.

Faith Ward: Yeah, I mean one of the classic, one of the big areas around that, and talking about collaborations we’re part of the mining 2030. I managed to be led out by the Church of England Pensions Board and that very much is the sharp end of complicated. You have a whole litany of environmental, social and governance challenges within those sectors, they have been there for quite some time. They are also the sector that requires the minerals and even just to talk about critical minerals and some of the kind of various things that we need of course in areas. And we also just need steel, we can’t build wind turbines without steel. And so, it's a sector that is really hard to reduce some of the emissions, just the nature of it where they operate, It is really hard, a whole host of reasons and lots of other challenges as well, but actually realising that, you know, not providing capital and supporting them in them in that transition is not going to get you want to go. We have to make much harder choices that I think that the decisions, yeah, they’re just hard to make. So, we just need to get better at communicating them.

Eva Cairns: Absolutely. So, with those challenges in mind, if you had a crystal ball, and could wish for anything related to the sustainable finance agenda. What would it be?

Faith Ward: Gosh, it sounds a bit nerdy, and I know it's something that maybe lots of said before, but this gap between what society wants and what the market is, where the market is at, as it where in terms of where our investments and the signals that we're getting, the gap between those two would be massively closed if we had a meaningful price on carbon. It is that pricing of that externality that of that carbon emissions. If we were paying the full proper cost of that consumption and embedding that within those that would essentially, if you internalise that the market mechanisms then can take care of that and will then price it in. And a lot of that kind of has this catalytic effect then I think in terms of it becomes a disincentive to high carbon products and that where there are alternatives, and it tends to then pivot money will pivot to those alternatives become more cost-effective. So, it is an absolutely critical and sort of part of the equation. One of the panels I actually listened into at COP, one of the comments actually about the carbon adjustment mechanism, it was all very technical, but one of the comments was made by a Harvard professor I think it was, is that the price is not the cost. And that was a thought that really stuck with me. I thought that's a very helpful way to try and convey to people why we've got this challenge, is that the price we’re paying is not the cost, that cost is so much more profound. I thought I really like that. I’ve grabbed onto that one. It really sums up that challenge.

Eva Cairns: Do you know that takes me back to my Master's dissertation which was about the social cost of carbon and whether it aligns with carbon prices that are being set in UK policy. That was the topic many years ago but which absolutely I fully that this is actually something that in my economics degree really hooked me onto the issue of the externality of carbon causes so much damage and it's not being paid for. And you know, just purely from a financial and economics perspective, tackling that so that it's financially the right thing to do to address it, to invest in low-carbon solution and address that externality. Glad to hear you're raising that.

Faith Ward: It takes you right back to the beginning of our conversation that was brought in by the Climate Agency, so how do we take account, how to be account for properly in the financial accounts of the environmental impacts of what we consume? It’s around landfill, it’s around water, it’s around energy, but that same principle saying you know we just think we're still fighting that battle, Eva, years later. But yeah, you feel like that there’s more people that understand that's where we need to get to.

Eva Cairns: Absolutely. Well, it's been fabulous. I have got a final question for you. Is there anything that has inspired you, like a book or person or a film or anything like that, that you would like to share with the listeners to go and we and look at or listen to that?

Faith Ward: Gosh, I mean, I think that's quite sort of quite a tricky question in terms of I just sort of I think I constantly try and seek out sources of inspiration. I think in terms of particularly you can be a little bit in a bubble in finance and investment it is, and it can be become an echo chamber if you’re not careful. And, if you look at one of the opportunities COP presents is to actually talk to people who are at the sharp end of climate impact, to talk to indigenous communities, you got to talk to people that the people, the global youth sort of movements there as well. And you can get a little bit more in touch with kind of what it really feels like to be in a really vulnerable place. And that helps to inspire you to get up the next day and keep on with the job really I suppose in terms of that. So, I try and seek some inspiration from that kind of what is actually happening in the real world. And I'm trying to make you make a difference from that. And I have listened to sort of presentations and a bit of an insatiable appetite for kind of reading and listening to what other people have done and some of the academic research is amazing as well and it’s very inspiring, likes of Planetary Boundaries with Johan Rockstrom, it really helps give you that sort of bigger picture, I would advocate that. I mean, one of the more recent sources of inspiration that I would recommend is one of the topics, again going back to COP that we were talking about, the reform of the international financial infrastructure, particularly the multilateral development banks and the Ajay Banga, the new chap in charge of the World Bank who did his opening address in September, in Marakesh. He was talking about his vision for what the World Bank's role would be and how he saw some of the reforms. And I absolutely loved that, so I've been recommending people going to watch that, to be really inspired by somebody that you know the world that could such a catalytic impact, to be led by someone with that vision, I mean there’s a whole host, he said that there's a long way to go. He said that there’s still wet paint, which I also quite love that expression that basically that there’s wet paint. You know, we’ve actually got to deliver on this. But actually, I thought to have somebody in that position in charge of the World Bank setting out that game and a huge amount of hope and a huge amount of inspiration. So, I'm pointing people to that YouTube clip at the moment if they want to be a bit uplifted and I think is somebody that really gets it, that sees the big picture, the inter-relationships as well between poverty, between climate, between health and between the life chances of the next generation, all of that coming together, that would be my YouTube clip to go to.

Eva Cairns: Fabulous, thank you so much for, that's been a very inspirational conversation with you. So, thanks so much for being with us today. And as I say, it's been a real delight to have you.

Faith Ward: Thank you for having me.

Eva Cairns: You've been listening to the abrdn podcast Sustainability Inspires, aiming to help you get inspired and get involved to all those have taken time to tune in, many thanks for listening. You can find all our podcasts on our website. Goodbye for now.


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