Christiana Figueres, Top UN Authority on Climate Change, Wins 2016 Joan Bavaria Award
MAY 5, 2016 // BOSTON, MA: Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has been awarded the Joan Bavaria Award for Building Sustainability into the Capital Markets. The announcement was made today at the 2016 Ceres Conference, which is being held in Boston, Mass.
The award is given by Ceres and Trillium Asset Management each year to honor an inspiring leader working to move capital markets toward a system that balances economic prosperity with social and environmental concerns.
The groups selected Figueres as this year’s recipient for her leadership in bringing together governments, corporations, investors and financial institutions, communities of faith, NGOs and parliamentarians, to deliver the unprecedented climate change agreement in Paris. Her efforts resulted in the adoption of the final Paris Agreement by 195 countries across the globe in December. For this achievement, Figueres has been credited with forging a new brand of collaborative diplomacy.
“I am incredibly honored to receive this award and recognition,” Figueres said. “But I could not have done this work without the support of organizations, like Ceres, that played a major role in mobilizing businesses, investors and civil society at large to support the Paris Agreement. It was truly a global effort.”
You can watch Ms. Figueres’ acceptance speech here.
Throughout the negotiation process, Figueres focused on the economic opportunities of tackling climate change, which helped engage more companies and investor partners than ever before.
“Getting investor and corporate support was a key ingredient for a successful climate agreement,” said Mindy Lubber, Ceres president. “Figueres not only understands the importance of these economic players in global agreements, but she understands that the future of our economy is dependent on the environmental health and stability of our planet. She was able to harness the economic opportunity that tackling climate change offers and built unprecedented support from some of the largest companies and investors in the world.”
Figueres began leading the international climate change negotiations after the Copenhagen conference in 2009. As Executive Secretary, Figures was determined to take the negotiations forward in the hope of securing a universal climate change agreement. Over the next five years, she led a series of successful UN Climate Change Conferences, starting with Cancun in 2010 and culminating with the historical and much celebrated Paris Agreement of 2015.
The award honors the memory of Joan Bavaria, a pioneer of social investing who founded Ceres and Trillium Asset Management. Past recipients include Geeta Aiyer, Founder and President of Boston Common Asset Management, Sister Patricia Daly, OP, executive director of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, Tessa Tennant, President and co-founder of The Ice Organisation, and William Foote, founder and CEO of Root Capital.
“In the spirit of Joan Bavaria, for whom this award is named, Figueres has shown great leadership towards balancing environmental needs and economic prosperity when it comes to climate change,” said Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management. “Her ability to achieve global consensus on one of the most important issues of our time is true to Joan’s vision for building a sustainable economy.”
In addition to the Joan Bavaria Award, Figueres has also received the Grand Medal of the City of Paris, the Ewald von Kleist Award from the Munich Security Conference, the 2015 Guardian Medal of Honour , 2015 Hero of El Pais newspaper in Spain, and the 2016 Solar Champion Award from California’s Vote Solar. The Nature Journal of Science listed her first on the list of 2015 Top 10, Foreign Policy Magazine recognized her as the 2015 Global Thinker, and in 2016 Fortune magazine listed her number seven of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders, the only female Latin American to be listed.
About Trillium Asset Management
Founded in 1982, Trillium Asset Management is an investment management firm with over $2 billion in assets under management. Trillium integrates Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into the investment process as a way to seek to identify companies better positioned to deliver strong, long-term performance. Trillium has a long history of managing equity and fixed income portfolios for individuals, foundations, endowments, religious organizations, and other non-profits. You can follow Trillium on Twitter @TrilliumAM.
Ceres is a nonprofit organization mobilizing business and investor leadership on climate change, water scarcity and other sustainability challenges. Ceres directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $13 trillion. Ceres also directs Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy (BICEP), an advocacy coalition of dozens of companies committed to working with policymakers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation. For more information, visit www.ceres.org or follow on Twitter @CeresNews.