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Home Past events Net Zero Pledges – a pathway towards transition

Net Zero Pledges – a pathway towards transition

Invitation from Afore Consulting and UN High Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges

Afore Consulting and the UN High Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges are jointly hosting a full day seminar on Net Zero Pledges which will take place in a virtual format on Thursday 8 December 2022 from 9:00-17:00 (Brussels time).

We would be delighted if you could join us for this seminar where the Expert Group will present their findings after COP27. Also joining us will be an international audience of policy makers, industry representatives, as well as the wider civil society, in Europe and beyond.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres established this High-Level Expert Group on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities earlier this year to develop stronger and clearer standards for net-zero emission pledges by non-State entities including businesses, investors, cities and regions and to look at ways to speed up their implementation. We think this event will be particularly interesting given the growing debate around transition plans and their verification.

The seminar will be focused on the four areas of the Expert Group’s recommendations:

  • Current standards and definitions for setting net-zero targets;
  • Credibility criteria used to assess the objectives, measurement and reporting of net-zero pledges;
  • Processes for verification and accounting of progress towards net-zero commitments and reported decarbonisation plans; and
  • A roadmap to translate standards and criteria into international and national level regulations.


Speakers for the seminar include

  • Valvanera Ulargui Aparicio, Director General of the Spanish Climate Change Office
  • Helena Viñes Fiestas, Commissioner of the Spanish Financial Markets Authority, co-rapporteur, the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance and Member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges
  • Paul Tang, MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Tax Matters (FISC)
  • Martin Spolc, Head of the Sustainable Finance Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission
  • Sacha Sadan, Director for Environment, Social & Governance, FCA
  • Nathan Fabian, UN PRI and Chair of the Platform for Sustainable Finance
  • Kris Nathaniel, Senior Policy Advisor, IOSCO
  • Irene Heemskerk, Head of the ECB Climate Change Centre
  • Russel Bishop, Associate Director, Head of Sustainable Finance Policy, EBRD
  • Kateřina Bohuslavová, Chief Sustainability Officer and Head of ESG Office, ČEZ Group
  • Catherine McKenna, Chair of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero
  • Malango Mughogho, Member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges
  • Bill Hare, Lead Author of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report and Member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges
  • Arunabha Ghosh, Member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges
  • Nancy Saich, Senior Technical Adviser Environment, Climate and Social Office, EIB
  • Alberto Carillo Pineda, Chief Technical Officer and Co-Founder of the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)
  • Swami Venkataraman, CFA, Associate Managing Director in ESG, Moody’s Investors Service
  • Viktoriya Brand, Head of Group Sustainability, Deutsche Bank
  • Nadja Picard, Partner, Global Reporting Leader, PwC
  • Tomohiro Ishikawa, Managing Director & Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs, MUFG
  • Roger Martella, Chief Sustainability Officer, GE
  • Sir Jonathan Taylor, Senior Advisor at Afore Consulting and Former Vice President of the European Investment Bank
  • Nickolas Reinhardt, Co-Founder and Director, Afore Consulting


For the draft programme, please click here.

To join us for the seminar, please register here.


We very much look forward to welcoming you on 8 December 2022.

The event is finished.


08 Dec 2022


9:00 am - 5:00 pm


  • Dr Arunabha Ghosh
    Dr Arunabha Ghosh
    Founder-CEO, CEEW

    Dr Arunabha Ghosh is an internationally recognised public policy expert, author, columnist, and institution builder. He is the founder-CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and has led CEEW to the top ranks as one of Asia’s leading policy research institutions and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks. He played a formative role in creating the International Solar Alliance, and was a founding board member of the Clean Energy Access Network. Co-author/editor of four books and with experience in 48 countries, he previously worked at Princeton, Oxford, UNDP (New York), and WTO (Geneva). The Asia Society honoured him recently with the 2022 Asia Game Changer Award, for his and CEEW’s “incredible work, which is making a real difference for India and for the planet”.
    Arunabha advises governments, industry, civil society, and international organisations around the world. He currently serves on Government of India’s G20 Finance Track Advisory Group and advises the Sherpa Track for India’s G20 Presidency in 2022-23. In 2022, the UN Secretary-General appointed him to the High-level Expert Group on the Credibility and Accountability of Net-Zero Announcements by Non-State Actors. Since 2018, on the UN Secretary-General’s nomination, Dr Ghosh has served on the UN’s Committee for Development Policy. Arunabha is also a member of the Global Commission on the Economics of Water. In 2020, the Government of India appointed him Co-Chair of the energy, environment and climate change track for India’s Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (STIP2020). He was appointed the Co-Chair of the T20 Task Force on climate and energy for Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022.
    He is co-Chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Clean Air, a member of the international high-level panel of the Environment of Peace initiative, and serves on the Board of ClimateWorks Foundation. A frequent speaker and adviser to governments, industry and international organisations, he writes monthly columns across various platforms, has hosted or featured in several documentaries, and his 2019 TED Talk on air quality (Mission 80-80-80) has crossed 267,000 views. He holds a D.Phil. from Oxford.

  • Helena Viñes Fiestas
    Helena Viñes Fiestas
    Commissioner of the Spanish Financial Markets Authority, co-rapporteur, the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance and Member of the UN High-Level Expert Group on Net Zero Pledges

    Helena is co-rapporteur of EU Platform on Sustainable Finance. She was previously a Member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance.
    Helena has more than ten years of experience working in the area of responsible business, development and sustainable investment. She was Head of Sustainability, Global Head of Stewardship and Policy at BNP Paribas Asset Management and Senior Policy Adviser on Sustainable Finance at BNP Paribas.
    Helena holds an MSc in Development Studies from London School of Economics, and a BA in Economics from the University of Barcelona.

  • Irene Heemskerk
    Irene Heemskerk
    Head of the Climate Change Centre, European Central Bank

    Irene Heemskerk joined the European Central Bank in June 2021 to head the Climate Change Centre. She is responsible for shaping and steering the ECB’s climate agenda internally and externally. Irene also represents the ECB in the Central Banks and Supervisors’ Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), is an Observer to the EFRAG Sustainability Board and is member of the TIME magazine 2030 Committee Advising on Solutions for the Future.

    Prior to joining the ECB, Irene was involved as a Sustainability Fellow in the work of the IFRS Foundation on setting up a Sustainability Standards Board. From 2005 until 2020, Irene held various positions at De Nederlandsche Bank. As advisor to the Chair, she was involved in the work of the NGFS from its launch in 2017 and led the work of the first publication of the NGFS on supervisory practices addressing climate-related and environmental risks. Irene holds a master’s degree in international and European law from Leiden University.

  • Martin Spolc
    Martin Spolc
    Head of Sustainable Finance Unit, DG FISMA, European Commission

    Martin Spolc is the Head of the Sustainable Finance in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Financial Services. Prior to his current role, he was the Head of the Capital Markets Union unit, the Economic analysis unit, Deputy Head of the Banking unit and Assistant to the Director General, directly involved in developing key projects in the area of financial services since the banking crisis. Before joining the Commission, he had worked at risk management consultancy and the banking sector. He is the holder of the CFA and FRM designations and member of the CFA Institute and Global Association of Risk Professionals.

  • Nathan Fabian
    Nathan Fabian
    UN PRI and Chair of the Platform for Sustainable Finance

    Nathan Fabian is Chief Responsible Investment and Signatories Relations Officer at the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment. The PRI supports over 5000 institutional investors globally to incorporate Environmental, Social and Governance factors into their investment activities. He has been with the PRI for five years.

  • Paul Tang
    Paul Tang
    Member of the European Parliament

    He is a Member of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) and a Substitute Member on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE).   He is the Chair of the Subcommittee on Tax Matters (FISC) and the Vice-Chair of the European Parliament Credit Union Interest Group.

    He is the rapporteur on the proposal to establish a European Green Bond Standard (EUGBS) and a shadow-rapporteur on the AIFMD.

    Paul Tang holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Amsterdam.

  • Roger Martella
    Roger Martella
    Chief Sustainability Officer, GE

    Roger Martella is Vice President, Chief Sustainability Officer for the General Electric Company. In this role, Roger coordinates GE’s mission-critical focus on contributing technology and innovation to the global challenges of the energy transition and climate change, the future of sustainable flight, and precision health. Prior to GE, Roger co-led Sidley Austin LLP’s tier 1 ranked global environmental law and climate change practices. Prior to Sidley, Roger was General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where he was unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate, and the Principal Counsel for Complex Litigation for the Justice Department’s Natural Resources Section. Roger teaches a first of its kind International Environmental Law and Justice class at Howard University Law School.
    Roger has co-authored and edited four books on the intersections of climate change law, international environmental law, human rights, and ESG, including the recently published Corporate Social Responsibility—Sustainable Business: Environmental, Social and Governance Frameworks for the 21st Century (Wolters Kluwer 2020), and has addressed the United Nations, Congress, and other entities on these topics on many occasions. Several ranking organizations have awarded Roger their top ratings and hall of fame recognitions for environmental and climate change law globally and in the United States. He is a member of the Commission on Foreign Relations and an active board member of the Environmental Law Institute, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and several environmental NGOs, energy think tanks, and “intrapreneurship” organizations and serves on the executive council of both the International Bar Association’s and ABA’s environmental sections, where he promoted and helped draft recent presidential-level climate resolutions.
    Roger graduated from Vanderbilt Law School, where he was editor in chief of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and Cornell University. He grew up in Norristown, PA, where his family ran a corner Italian bakery.

  • Sacha Sadan
    Sacha Sadan
    Director of ESG at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)

    Sacha Sadan is the Director of ESG at the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority). Facilitating the UK financial regulator to embed ESG across the wide spectrum of regulatory activities and reporting to the CEO. He has been named a City Influencer by Financial News as one of the biggest 25 names who have been instrumental in shaping the UK’s financial services industry. Previously Sacha was Director of Investment Stewardship (10 years) and on the board at LGIM, one of the world’s largest asset managers. Sacha had responsibility for investment stewardship, including environmental, social and governance (ESG). He was recognised in the Financial Times as one of ‘the 30 most influential people in the City of London’. Sacha was previously a UK equity portfolio manager at Gartmore. He was voted the top-rated Pan European fund manager in the Thomson Reuters Extel awards. He started his career at Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) pension fund. Sacha is a Fellow of ICSA and a founding member of the UK Investor Forum and was a member of their board for 6 years.

  • Tomohiro Ishikawa
    Tomohiro Ishikawa
    Managing Director & Head of Government and Regulatory Affairs, MUFG

    Tomo heads up the Global Regulatory Affairs Department at MUFG, based in Tokyo.
    Prior to his current role, Tomo headed the EMEA Regulatory Strategy team, based in London, for MUFG.
    Tomo graduated from Keio University (Tokyo, Japan) in 1996. He lived in Toronto, Canada, prior to studying economics at Keio.