London, 06 September – Althelia Ecosphere – the asset management platform established to demonstrate that competitive financial returns can be fully aligned with the preservation of natural capital and social development – is delighted to announce today the addition of Lisa Walker to the Group’s senior team. Lisa has left her role as Vice President for Environment & Climate Change at BG group (now a part of Royal Dutch Shell) to head up a new venture, Ecosphere+, established with the founding mission of building scale in the marketplace for environmental assets, such as those created through Althelia Ecosphere’s Althelia Climate Fund 1. The Climate Fund was launched in June 2013 backed by notable institutions from the public and private sector with a mission to align economy with ecology by financing integrated rural landscapes that support conservation of natural ecosystems alongside ecologically sustainable commercial activities.
The new venture, which will be launched in time for COP-22 in Marrakech, will give businesses across multiple sectors, investors, consumers and other key stakeholders access to assets from projects and programmes that help deliver the 2ºC carbon budget through preserving the valuable carbon stored in the biomass of tropical forests and other critical landscapes, as well as other environmental assets (including deforestation-free agricultural produce such as coffee and cocoa) created through sustainable agroforestry systems.
On setting up the new venture, Althelia Ecosphere co-founding managing partner Christian del Valle said: “It is clear to us that an energy transition is underway and we are moving towards a lowcarbon economy, spurred on by a raft of new technologies and disruptive business models. To meet the ambitious climate targets committed to in Paris we need a ‘whole-system’ transition that includes a major role for nature-based carbon sequestration. Businesses and consumers need access to a much greater volume of sustainable choices, and the right information, so they can align their own actions and also contribute to solutions. Scaling up the market-place for environmental assets is therefore an essential bridge to this new economy”.
Lisa has worked in the oil and gas sector for over seventeen years where she has been a catalyst for climate change action both within the companies for whom she has worked and across successful sectoral partnerships. Specifically, Lisa has been a driving-force behind a number of coalitions such as the CCAC Oil & Gas Methane Partnership, the CEO-led Oil & Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and the Sustainable Gas Institute (SGI) at Imperial College. Lisa has been involved in the evolution of global and regional carbon markets since 1999 and was one of the original members of the UK Emissions Trading Group secretariat. Before joining BG Group Lisa spent thirteen years at BP and was the Director of the BP Carbon Ventures corporate VC fund. The BP Carbon Ventures fund had >$30m under management and was focused on development of a diversified carbon finance portfolio. Lisa successfully secured capital for a number of innovative investments including forestry, REDD+, sustainable land management, carbon farming, low-carbon technologies and bio-energy, including a number of first-of-their-kind deals for the private sector such as investment in the World Bank’s Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
“The size of the climate change challenge is such that we cannot rest on our laurels whilst longerterm structural changes play out across sectors globally nor can we wait for the perfect carbon pricing policy to be implemented before we take action; we have to be realistic that the energy transition will take time and so we must stimulate and accelerate emissions reductions now wherever we can to set a lower net-emissions pathway. Businesses that are serious about reducing climate risk and finding solutions can work together now to make this happen. Carbon mitigation through natural emissions sequestration is amongst the most cost-effective mitigation option of any sector, as well as one with the most material volume potential in the near-term. It brings many other social and environmental benefits too such as conservation, preservation of biodiversity and eco-system services, increasing climate-resilience and creating sustainable livelihoods. I am hugely excited to have this opportunity to create a new venture with such a highimpact investor and partner like Althelia Ecosphere that can bring about the required momentum to scale up and mainstream much needed eco-commodities and provide businesses and consumers a credible and impactful way to value carbon and demonstrate how their actions align with the required lower-carbon net emissions pathway.” Lisa Walker said.
Althelia Ecosphere co-founding managing partner Sylvain Goupille explained, “Lisa’s track record of success in the oil & gas sector from which she brings a mind set of an integrated, holistic and valueoriented approach to sustainable growth as well as a deep knowledge and expertise of business needs are the skill set we believe are necessary to demonstrate to businesses, investors and consumers globally that with the right strategy and near term actions, removing carbon from the atmosphere through restoring and conserving tropical forests and other sustainable land-use practices could help stabilise and then reduce CO2 concentration globally during the time needed for an orderly transition to a lower carbon, sustainable global economy.”