Sean Kidney CEO

Sean Kidney. Co-founder and CEO, Climate Bonds Initiative

Sean Kidney is the CEO of the Climate Bonds Initiative (CB), an international NGO working to mobilize global capital for climate action.  

Working with Climate Bond Partners in the investment and banking community in 30 countries around the world, CBI aims to reduce market friction and improve risk differentiation for green investments. That includes advocacy around standards; issuer support for bond market development; and policy interventions that promote green finance solutions. Partners include major investors such as BlackRock, SSGA, PIMCO, Allianz GI and PGGM; major banks such as HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi, Barclays, BNP Paribas and RBC; and Government Ministries in Switzerland and France.

Climate Bonds Initiative projects include:

-       A green bond definitions and certification scheme with $34 trillion of assets represented on its Board and some 200 organizations involved in its development and governance. The Board includes the State Treasurer of California; the US Investor Network on Climate Risk; the Institutional Investor Group on Climate Change; CalSTRS, the USA’s second largest pension fund; Australia’s Investor Group on Climate Change; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Natural Resources Defense Council; and the International Cooperative Mutual Insurers Federation.

-       Supporting China’s central bank with growing a green bonds masrket in China;

-       Green bond market development programs in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, India, ASEAN and East Africa;

-       Providing comprehensive market data and analysis.

He is a Professor in Practice at SOAS University of London.

Sean is a member of the:

-       European Commission's Platform on Sustainable Finance

-       French government’s Green Sovereign Bond Evaluation Council

-       Sustainability Fellow at the Nordic Institute for Finance, Technology and Sustainability.

-       Astana International Finance Centre’s Green Advisory Committee

-       Advisory Network to the High-Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy, which aims to accelerate progress towards a healthy ocean.

-       European Advisory Board of the SMARTER Finance for Families (energy efficiency) initiative

-       International Advisory Board of the Romanian Sustainable Investment Finance Association (ROSIF)

-       International Advisory Panel of the International Sustainable Finance Centre in Prague

He is the Climate Bonds representative at the:

-       Future of Sustainable Data Alliance

-       Mexico Climate Finance Consultative Board

-       DRC Congo Green Finance Task Force

He has previously been a:

-       Consultant on green bonds to the United Nations Secretary General

-       Member of the EU Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance

-       Member of the European Commission's High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance

-       Member of the People's Bank of China Green Finance Task Force

-       Member of the Commonwealth Secretariat’s Expert Committee on Climate Finance.

-       Member of the Blended Finance Task Force

In 2016 he was named Environmental Finance magazine’s “Personality of the Year” and in from 2017 to 2019 was voted GlobalCapital magazine’s “Most Influential Champion” of the sustainable finance market.

A regular speaker on climate change and finance, Sean has over the past year spoken at conferences and seminars on six continents.

Sean is an Irish national. He has four daughters and lives in London with his partner.

See videos.

Publications

  • ​​Olsen-Rong, T, Kidney, S. and Sonerud, B. Climate Bonds Initiative, "Bonds and Climate Change: The State of the Market in 2015"
  • Oliver, P, Kidney, S, Sonerud, B.: “Growing a Green Bonds Market in China”, International Institute of Sustainable Development 2015
  • Oliver, P & Kidney, S.: “Growing a Green Bonds Market in China”, International Institute of Sustainable Development 2013
  • Chapter on “Climate Bonds und der Schweiz Energiewende” in Dr. Reichmuth, Tobias, “Die Finanzierung der Energiewende - Bestandsaufnahme, Massnahmen und Investitionsmöglichkeiten am Beispiel der Schweiz”. Published by NZZ Libro 2013.
  • Oliver, P., Boulle, B., Kidney S.: “Bonds and Climate Change: the State of the Market 2013”, Climate Bonds Initiative 2013
  • Chapter on “Climate Bonds: The Investment Case” in Oulton W. “Investment Opportunities for a Low-Carbon World 2nd ed.” Environmental Finance Publications 2012
  • Clenaghan, S, Damerow, F, Kidney, S, “How Covered Bond markets can be adapted for Renewable Energy Finance and how this could Catalyse Innovation in Low-Carbon Capital Markets”. Climate Bonds Initiative 2012.
  • Kidney, S, Mathews, J.A. “Financing climate-friendly energy development through bonds”, in Development Southern Africa Journal 2012.
  • “Mobilising Bond Markets for the Low-carbon Transition – An Eight-point Plan”. Modern Energy Journal 2012
  • Chapter on “Environmental theme bonds: a new fixed income asset class” in “Sustainable banking: Risk, reward and the future of finance”. ifr intelligence reports 2010
  • Kidney, S, Mathews, J.A. “Climate bonds: mobilizing private financing for carbon management”. Carbon Management Journal 2010.
  • Kidney, S, Mathews, J.A., Mallon, K., Hughes, M. “Mobilizing private finance to drive an energy industrial revolution”. Energy Policy Journal 2010
  • Mallon, K., Kidney S. “Climate Solutions 2: Low-Carbon Re-Industrialisation”, WWF Australia 2009
  • Kidney S. “How pension funds will bring social policy into investment planning”. Australian Financial Review Weekend Review, 2000.

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