On Tuesday 8 December 2020 Climateworks and the British High Comission hosted a discussion on pathways to a robust and competitive sustainable finance sector in Australia. 2020 was predicted to be big for sustainable finance. How important has it been and what comes next? 

Businesswoman Sam Mostyn hosted the panel featuring Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative co-chair Simon O’Connor, Green Finance Institute’s strategic advisor Jeremy Gorelick and Climateworks head of international Meg Argyriou.

The discussion included details of the ASFI sustainable finance roadmap, unpacking the barriers and opportunities to building the sector in Australia, and identifying lessons Australia can learn from the successes of other jurisdictions, such as the UK.

You can watch the full episode below.


Simon O’Connor
CEO, Responsible Investment Association Australasia; Co-Chair Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative

Simon is the CEO of RIAA – an organisation with 300 investment organisation members who jointly manage over $9 trillion in assets globally – where he works to elevate sustainability issues as core investment risks and opportunities, and shift capital to support a more sustainable, equitable and prosperous world.

Simon has operated at the intersection of economics, finance and sustainability for nearly 20 years and has international experience as an economic adviser, investment analyst and sustainability consultant across finance, corporate and not for profit sectors.

Simon is active across the region and internationally in responsible investment and sustainable finance.

He sits as the Co-Chair of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, chairs the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance, and is a member of the Aotearoa New Zealand National Advisory Board on Impact Investment.

Megan Argyriou
Head of International Programs, Climateworks Australia

Meg leads Climateworks’ international programs, with a focus on Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. This includes efforts to identify and catalyse opportunities for low carbon industrial development in Southeast Asian economies, to develop long term sectoral transition roadmaps, and to redirect finance flows to align with the goals of the Paris Agreement and Agenda for Sustainable Development 2030.. She also brings extensive experience in convening public and private stakeholders to develop ambitious low carbon growth plans in some of Australia’s most emissions intensive regions.

She recently led the development of the Investment Vision Guide, a framework designed to complement and build on efforts by developing countries to articulate their long-term, low emissions development strategy under the Paris Agreement.  It does this by helping governments to identify how to align policy and investment signals today with their long term decarbonisation goals.

Her growing team, based across offices in Jakarta and Melbourne, is currently developing work programs focused on green recovery in ASEAN, sustainable finance and clean energy transitions in Indonesia and net zero pathways in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Jeremy Gorelick
Strategic Adviser, the Green Finance Institute

Dr Jeremy Gorelick is a development finance practitioner with 20 years of experience in preparing and closing transactions in infrastructure in emerging markets.  He has been responsible for the raising of over USD 1.25 billion for infrastructure projects in frontier and emerging markets, starting from his role on the origination desks at BNP Paribas and Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and onwards through his positions as a strategic municipal / infrastructure finance advisor with various aid agencies and development finance institutions (including the IFC, the World Bank, the OECD, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and bilateral aid programmes from the American, British, French, and German governments).  His overriding interest is in supporting sub-national governments to successfully source their own needs for climate-smart urban infrastructure projects.

Dr Gorelick has played a pivotal role in the design and implementation of many projects, including as the global lead for the infrastructure finance team for one of USAID’s flagship programs, WASH-FIN, designed to help utilities and municipalities across Africa and Asia to raise money for water and sanitation projects.  From 2011 to 2016, Dr. Gorelick served as the Lead Technical and Financial Advisor for the City of Dakar’s Municipal Finance Program, where he was responsible for the technical elements of establishing the necessary framework and organizational infrastructure to launch a USD 40 million municipal bond.

Dr Jeremy Gorelick currently serves as the Senior Strategic Advisor to the Green Finance Institute, where he is leading a team in the development of a climate finance facility for the Greater London Authority as a vehicle to fund London’s climate-smart interventions.  He is also the key green finance expert in the implementation of UK PACT on behalf of Palladium, reviewing opportunities for the deployment of funds on projects across the global portfolio (China, Malaysia, South Africa, Colombia and Mexico).  He recently advised the World Bank on mitigation and adaptation response on a project in Ibadan, Nigeria, and supported the IFC’s Africa Cities Initiative by analysing climate-smart infrastructure investment opportunities in Dakar, Senegal.


Sam Mostyn
Businesswoman and sustainability adviser, with a long history of executive & governance roles across business, sport, climate change, the arts, policy, and NFP sectors.

Sam Mostyn serves on the boards of Mirvac, Transurban, Sydney Swans, GO Foundation, Centre for Policy Development, The Climate Council.

Sam Chairs the boards of the Citi Australia, Foundation for Young Australians, Ausfilm, Australian Women Donors Network, ANROWS (the Australian National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety) and Alberts; and she serves on the Australian faculty of the Cambridge University Business & Sustainability Leadership Program.

Sam served as a Commissioner with the Australian Football League and was a member of the Crawford Sports Funding Review expert panel which examined sports funding in Australia. She was as an inaugural board member of Climateworks Australia and a founding supporter and Chair of the women’s climate action group 1 Million Women.

Sam has served on the Global Business & Sustainable Development Commission, and on the boards of Reconciliation Australia, the Australia Council for the Arts, the Sydney Theatre Company, Virgin Australia Australian Volunteers International, and has chaired Carriageworks and The Australian Museum. Sam us a past President of the Australian Council for International Development and inaugural commissioner with the National Mental Health Commission and was Deputy Chair of the Diversity Council of Australia. 

Sam was named Winner – Individual, in the IGCC 2019 Climate Awards and was recently presented the distinguished 2020 United Nations Day Honour Award for her significant contribution in advancing the work of the United Nations; in recognition of her outstanding efforts in the advancement of sustainable development as defined by the UN and her leadership in the areas of diversity and inclusion in Australia.

Her executive and non-executive roles have encompassed business strategy, human resources, culture change, corporate and government affairs, risk management, community engagement, climate change, gender equality, and sustainability, and was a senior Policy advisor for Senator Bob Collins (Transport & Communications) and The Hon Michael Lee MP (Communications & the Arts), and senior communications Policy advisor for the former PM, The Hon Paul Keating.

Sam has a BA/LLB from the Australian National University, and in 2018, was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the ANU, in recognition of her work as a pioneer of gender inclusion and equity, and leadership in sustainability and climate change.


Presented by Climateworks Australia and the British High Commission

In the lead up to COP26 the pressure is on to bring new ambition to emission reduction targets. This series of three events looks at how we can realise our decarbonisation potential and drive cleaner economic growth. We focus on energy and industry transitions through clean technology and how business, cities and governments can join the race to net zero. Hear from experts across the pond and on home ground, as they unlock the possibilities.