BEI Weekly Update
Jun 28, 2024

BEI Weekly Update - 28th June 2024

Dear Members and Friends, 

This is the first year in which BEI has contributed to London Climate Action Week. Our Climate Showcase has covered a wide range of climate challenges and solutions and brought together many of our members, some (I hope) prospective new members as well as key Government and other stakeholders including FCDO, PIDG, Infraco Africa, BII, World Bank, IFC and EBRD. So far, we have welcomed over 250 speakers and participants representing over 120 organisations. The depth and breadth of “British expertise” in all the sectors necessary for effective climate mitigation and adaptation has been inspiring to see.    

While it has felt rather like the grand performance that comes at the end of months of careful rehearsal – and I thank and congratulate not only all those who have participated and sponsored the events, as well as Alexandra and the team – we need to treat it not as the end but as the beginning of a new round of engagement between all those who can make a difference. We will follow up on these themes in the coming months, including the intersection between climate and other development challenges (displacement, conflict, migration, food security, deforestation, maladaptation, infrastructure resilience, gender inequality), but also the opportunities from effective partnerships, co-design, localisation, social inclusion and scaling innovative financial mechanisms. I’m particularly excited by a number of conversations with the financial sector and am convinced that we have an opportunity to bring together those with capital, experience and expertise to design and build the next generation of sustainable programmes and projects.

On Tuesday, the first panel of the week was on “Sustainable Adaptation: Learning from Communities on the Frontlines of Climate Change”. Speakers included Colin McQuistan, Head of Climate and Resilience at Practical Action; Gemma Tanner, Senior Adaptation Adviser at FCDO;  and Nandi Hall, Senior Director, Economic Growth at DAI Global. Our special thanks to Practical Action for sponsoring this event.

Later on Tuesday, we held the first of our discussions on innovation in climate finance: “New Solutions for Closing the Climate Finance Gap”. This hybrid round table session was chaired by Tara Sabre Collier, Climate and Private Sector Engagement Practice Lead at Chemonics UK. The panel included Amanda Lonsdale, Chief Investment Officer at USAID CFDA; Denesh Srishanker, Group Head, Credit Enhancement Facilities at The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG); Sumeet Manchanda, Associate Director, Head of Climate Co-finance at EBRD; Severin Luebke, Investment Team Lead MOBILIST Palladium. We are particularly grateful to Chemonics for their support for this event.

On Wednesday, our International Development Heads of Business Group also discussed climate finance with Louise Walker, Head of the Private Sector & Capital Markets Department at FCDO. We continued the theme with a panel discussion on ‘UK’s international leadership role in Climate Finance as a vehicle to deliver tangible impact’ where Louise was joined by Nicola Mustetea, Head of Climate at BII. This was a forward-looking discussion which highlighted the innovative approaches being taken both by FCDO and BII to maximise the impact of the available funds, to build cross-sector partnerships, manage risk in ways which facilitate sustainable programmes and build in gender equality and social inclusion from the start. Many thanks to both speakers, and especially to Louise for giving us two doses of her expertise!

We still have more climate discussions before the summer break, but if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to see our stunning photographic exhibition “Equilibrium” you still have until 11 July to do so. The exhibition features projects from 15 BEI member organisations, showcasing the amazing work they are doing in climate mitigation and adaptation around the globe. Many thanks once again to our sponsors: Thanks again to our sponsors, Mott MacDonald, Practical Action, Fathom and Chemonics, for their support of the exhibition.

Next week, I hope those with an interest in the opportunities in Cambodia will join us on Tuesday for a roundtable with HE Dominic Williams MBE, the British Ambassador.

We’d also like to invite you to join us at Grafton Street on 17 July to learn more about the Future Leaders Group at their summer reception. Please contact Daniel Bregman ( if you would like to attend and meet alumni, faculty members and participants of the October 2024 cohort. You can also find out more about the course on the FLG Website or its LinkedIn page.

After what is beginning to feel like a lifetime, we shall soon reach the UK General Election and know the result.Our sister organisation British Foreign Policy Group has been producing analysis on parties’ approaches to the key international themes. You can find on their website, pieces on topics such as defence, international partnerships, the US, Europe and China with more to come in the next few days including on international development. Do take a look.

Finally, for those who share my interest in the Western Balkans, there’s an opportunity to join the British-Serbian Chamber of Commerce for the Serbian Business Forum in London next Tuesday 2 July. Speakers will include the British Ambassador, HE Edward Ferguson, and representatives of a number of companies based in and/or operating in Serbia and the wider Western Balkans region, in sectors ranging from infrastructure, real estate and mining to IT services, fintech, AI and agribusiness. Further details and registration can be found here.

I wish you a restful weekend, not least to those who are recovering from all the hard work that went into this week’s Climate Showcase activities. We look forward to seeing you again soon in Grafton Street,

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International 

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 2nd July 2024 09:30-11:00 BST: Roundtable with the British Ambassador to Cambodia - Join us as we host His Excellency Dominic Williams MBE, British Ambassador to Cambodia.
  • 3rd July 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Britain’s Place in The World: Using UK Soft Power More Effectively - If Labour wins the election, they will be keen to ensure that the UK’s reputation on a global stage becomes part of its toolkit to drive economic and social prosperity. From their commitment to the culture and the arts, to their belief in the strength of the UK’s reputation across sport and education, soft power has a key role to play.
  • 9th July 2024 16:00-18:30 BST: Challenges in Accessing Climate Risk Data in Emerging and Developing Countries - Climate risks pose significant and multifaceted challenges for emerging and developing markets, ranging from data availability and inconsistency to the delicate balance between risk and humanitarian, economic, and environmental benefits. Our panel will explore how innovative partnerships can support stakeholders in emerging and developing countries in accessing climate risk data.
  • 17th July 2024 16:00 - 17:00 BST: Net Zero – the new economy or bad for business? - Net Zero is now part of the mainstream debate in national politics. As a result, it is also becoming a more contested agenda. What does this mean for the changing role of business in helping the UK achieve its Net Zero targets, and what does Labour’s ambition for us to be a ‘Net Zero Superpower’ mean in practice? In this session Nick will explore Labour’s approach to Net Zero, including the interplay between Net Zero and Labour’s fiscal policies.

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