Brent Lewin—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Shemara Wikramanayake is CEO of Macquarie Group, an Australian global financial services group, where she works to prioritize green finance. Last year, Macquarie announced a partnership with the U.N.’s Green Climate Fund, to which it would add $205 million from Macquarie’s institutional investors. The funding will go towards boosting EV charging infrastructure. Under her leadership, the bank is also a leading investor in renewable energy. But more than just eyeing clean energy, she is leading the push to divest $63 million USD of coal assets currently on the bank’s $250 billion USD balance sheet by 2024, which the company says it is on track to do. As she said in conversation with University of New South Wales Chancellor David Gonski last year: “There’s just a lot of change we need to do to stop our planet from burning. It’s not going to happen overnight, but there’s just a ton of stuff to do so I think it’s [about] opportunities, not challenges. On the other side of every challenge is an opportunity.”

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