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Opinion

Day 3: How can we finance the energy transition? Discussions from the final day of the Reuters Global Energy Transition Conference 2024

In this third special episode of the Energy Gang from the Reuters Global Energy Transition 2024 conference in New York, we focus on the crucial theme of financing the energy transition. We discuss how various stakeholders are addressing the financial challenges and opportunities presented by the shift to renewable energy.

Our first guest is Utopia Hill, the Chief Executive of Reactivate, a Chicago-based company developing renewable energy projects for low to moderate-income communities in the US. Utopia shares insights into how Reactivate is creating inclusive solutions that ensure the benefits of the energy transition reach underserved populations.

Next, we speak with Nia Jones, the Environment and Climate Director of the African-American Alliance of CDFI CEOs. Nia emphasises the importance of partnerships and cooperation among businesses, governments, and non-governmental organisations in advancing the energy transition. She discusses how her organisation is working to deliver renewable energy to people who might not otherwise have access to it.

The scale of the financing required for the energy transition means that the private sector will have to play a key role. Valerie Smith, Chief Sustainability Officer at Citi, joins us to explore what this means for a major international bank. She tells us how Citi is contributing to sustainable finance initiatives around the world.

For additional perspectives on the role of finance, we hear from Eric Cohen, Head of Green Economy Banking at JP Morgan Chase, and Greg Randolph, Managing Director of New York State’s NY Green Bank. They share their views on how financial institutions to supporting the transition to a low-carbon economy, and what more could be done to accelerate that progress. 

Many thanks to Utopia Hill, Nia Jones, Valerie Smith, Eric Cohen, and Greg Randolph for their invaluable contributions to this discussion.

You can find Ed and the show on most social media platforms: we’re @theenergygang on X. Subscribe to the Energy Gang on Apple Podcasts or Spotify so you don’t miss the next show.

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