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Financing the Just Transition: Feasible or a Fallacy?

Julie Byrne, Associate Professor of Banking and Finance at UCD School of Business, will discuss the financing of a Just Transition in the context of corporate economics where maximising shareholder wealth appears to come into conflict with inclusive development pathways.

UCD profile: https://people.ucd.ie/julie.byrne

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/julie-byrne-43822bb6/?originalSubdomain=ie


With the cost of achieving net zero estimated to be anywhere between $131tn and $250tn to 2050, finance will play an essential role in channeling the funds required. However, traditional finance regards the role of assigning funds from a purely stakeholder perspective where the goal is always to maximize shareholder wealth. This appears to be in direct conflict with incorporating inclusive development pathways while taking action on climate change. In this presentation, the feasibility of a just transition that is also appealing from an investor/corporate perspective is examined. Moving away from the traditional lens, a multiple stakeholder perspective is adopted. True environmental and social progress can be difficult to identify because it is less tangible and more difficult to quantify. By quantifying qualitative data, it is demonstrated that taking a proactive position on environmental and social factors can be beneficial to all stakeholders. Further, the groups of stakeholders that are most influential in determining the environmental and social performance of firms are identified. 

Prof. Julie Byrne

Prof Julie Byrne joined the UCD College of Business in January 2014 and is an associate professor of Banking and Finance. Since September 2017 she has served as the academic director of the Bachelor of Commerce programme at the Quinn School of business. Prior to that she was the academic director of the MSc in Energy and Environmental Finance programme in the Smurfit Graduate Business School. She is also co-Director of the UCD Centre for Business and Society (CeBas) and a lead researcher at the UCD Energy Institute. She lectures at both the undergraduate and postgraduate level and was a recipient of a UCD College of Business Teaching Excellence Award in 2020 and a UCD College of Business Promoting Excellence in Teaching and Learning Award in 2018.

Julie’s main research interests are in sustainable finance, energy & environmental finance, and corporate finance. She is currently a co-Pi on the Next Generation Energy Systems (NexSys) partnership programme, funded by Science Fondation Ireland, and a funded investigator on the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Valauation and Risk (VAR) project. Previously, she was a funded investigator on the Energy Systems Integration Partnership Programme (ESIPP). An active researcher, she has published in journals such as Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Energy Policy, and Energies. She has recently acted as a reviewer for Nature Energy, the Energy Journal, and Energies.

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