“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

As a global leader in advocacy and mobilising the financial services sector that was founded in Scotland, having COP26 being hosted in Glasgow in 2021 presents an unprecedented opportunity for GEFI and our stakeholders to come together to address the global climate emergency.

The coronavirus pandemic – which led to the postponement of COP26 – has exposed the fragility of our planet and its people. With health security emerging as a top global priority, it is critical that this is considered in conjunction with, rather than in isolation of, the climate emergency. As such, all efforts to rebuild more resilient economies must support the transition toward a greener, net-zero planet. The extended run into COP26 now presents an opportunity to mobilise wider and deeper commitments to drive climate action.

To help build momentum towards the climate summit, all existing and planned GEFI activities throughout 2020 and 2021 will be aligned to COP26 as part of an Integrated campaign entitled “The Path to COP26”. This will include events planned in London, USA, GCC, and Asia, alongside our premier global ethical finance summit (Ethical Finance 2020) that convenes annually in Edinburgh, which will be run as a virtual summit in October 2020. A number of side events will also be held during the COP26 period in Glasgow focused on climate finance.

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

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Confirmed Partners


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“. Send your email 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 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:


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+


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.