Diversity and equity are major issues within climate leadership and issues that Alan Smith, Senior Adviser on Climate and ESG Risk Management at HSBC, feels strongly about.
“Professionally and personally, what is significant for me, as someone who is Black, of Afro-Caribbean background, is the pressing need for diversity in climate change leadership across the board. The harsh reality is that globally - within developed and developing economies - climate change is already disproportionately negatively impacting, among others, women and black communities. For many climate change is not a 2050 issue, it is a current reality. Therefore on many levels it is important for me personally to be doing this role.”
Alan traces his readiness for his current role back to attending the Sustainability Leadership Programme, run in partnership with Earthwatch, at Wytham Woods in Oxfordshire.
“It is just such a profoundly valuable programme,” he says. “Its impact is both short and long term. It had an immediate impact back then, and all these years on it has played a significant role in equipping me for this role. It gave me capabilities for the future.”