Category: Events

Climate change: COP26 Glasgow will provide world stage for Scotland’s green innovation

Climate change: COP26 Glasgow will provide world stage for Scotland’s green innovation

By Christopher J White, Francesco Sindico, and Keith Bell, University of Strathclyde

Every year since 1994, the UN has gathered together the world’s governments at its Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference of the parties (COP), held in a different country each time. The convention’s ultimate aim is to prevent “dangerous” human interference with the climate system. The onus is on developed countries to lead the way and the convention directs funds to developing countries to help them in their efforts.

COP25, held in Madrid at the beginning of December 2019, did not end well. Swedish youth activist Greta Thunberg’s solemn speech gave short shrift to countries neglecting their responsibilities, and the likes of the US President, Donald Trump, and Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro, responded with personal attacks.

Tensions ran high when climate justice activists were barred from entering the venue and talks stalled, and negotiations ending two days late with a compromise deal on cutting global carbon emissions. Given the raised status of the world’s climate emergency, it was a disappointing end to a conference for which many had high hopes.

In the cold light of a new year, everyone from activists to world leaders are reflecting on COP25’s ultimate failure to set down rules on creating a carbon market between countries. But already, behind the scenes, the UK is looking to the next summit – because this year COP26 will be pitching its tent in Glasgow.

More than 30,000 people are expected to descend on the city in November 2020. For those who live and work in Glasgow it will be a chance to experience being part of an important climate action event. People from around the country will be able to participate in hundreds of events that will be happening across the city. So why will COP26 be such a big occasion for Glasgow, and what will the city itself bring to the mix?

Why hosting COP26 is a big deal

The world’s governments have met every year for nearly three decades to (try to) agree how to stop – or at least reduce the impacts of – climate change. But the fact that these nations have not been able to meet the overall UNFCCC objectives is one of the reasons we now face a global climate emergency.

As world summits go, they don’t get much more important than the UN’s climate change convention. In those three decades, this will be the first time a COP summit has been held in the UK. From a policy perspective, COP26 will be important for at least four reasons:

1. It will take place in the year when all countries are asked to submit their new long-term goals – so ambition to address the global climate emergency will be high on the agenda.

2. It will have to finish the work that COP25 was unable able to conclude – setting out the rules for a carbon market between countries.

3. From Glasgow onwards, the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement will be the key driver of international climate action.

4. COP26 will come just weeks after the US presidential election with the potential implications this will have for US climate policy and US participation in COP26.

Come November 2020, the eyes of the world will be firmly on Glasgow.

Glasgow on show

The Scots have always been keen innovators.

Scotland has a long and rich history of discovery and innovation, including Glasgow’s past as a world-class centre of shipbuilding, trade and industrial production – a legacy that has contributed to greenhouse gas emissions but has also added much to the quality of human life. From pioneering work on the steam engine and wind turbines, to the invention of television and the life-saving discoveries of penicillingin and tonic and Billy Connolly’s shipyard humour, Glasgow has helped shape the modern world.

Glasgow and its history can also shed light on how cities, societies and people can reinvent themselves from a former industrial workhorse to a city of culture, services and new green technologies. Scotland’s collective commitment to net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases by 2045 now puts the country at the forefront of real action on the climate emergency. During COP26, Glasgow’s research and innovation will be on show to the world.

Engineers are leading the development of renewable technologies such as tidal energy and floating offshore wind turbines. Scotland is at the forefront of establishing hydrogen as a viable energy source, providing hubs for related skills and knowledge-sharing, to ensure that new technologies can be integrated into the grid and controlled.

Scotland also leads the way not only on the science innovation, but on ways in which research and development can provide community-informed solutions to sea and climate change challenges, and on how climate change relates to Scotland’s coastline and islands.

Researchers in Scotland are also at the forefront of the science-policy-practice interface, working with people in the field to deliver climate change risk and adaptation policies. And with climate change already a reality, Glasgow is also producing science that helps communities become more prepared and resilient.

Scotland is at the forefront of offshore wind turbine technology. Shutterstock

More than a political event

Glasgow’s experts and innovators will have their moment to shine at COP26 – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with those deciding the direction and effectiveness of the global debate on climate change action. COP26 Glasgow can also be an inspirational event for Scotland’s young people, the generation which will inherit both the burden of climate change and the means to address it.

As we build up to COP26, the Scottish government and Glasgow City Council, alongside the universities of Strathclyde, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, will be planning numerous events that will run alongside the main COP26 activities.

The countdown has begun. Glasgow will seek to demonstrate to the world how Scottish research and innovation is playing an important role in tackling the global climate emergency.


This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Cover photo by Artur Kraft on Unsplash.
Not much COP: UN Climate talks fail to deliver on climate adaptation and resilience

Not much COP: UN Climate talks fail to deliver on climate adaptation and resilience

By Will Bugler

Good COP / Bad COP?

Bad COP. By any reasonable measure this COP failed to deliver at a time where the world expects action. The failure of the negotiating teams to make meaningful progress was compounded by the fact that hundreds of youth climate activists were ejected from the Plenary, in a year when climate activists have done more than anyone to move the climate agenda forward.

The COP began with a sense of foreboding with a last-minute shift in venue to Spain’s capital after Chile’s president Sebastian Piñera announced that his country could no longer host the event due to violent anti-government protests. However, Chile retained the COP presidency and had promised that this was to be an “ambition COP”, one that closed the widening gap between the countries’ current greenhouse gas emissions reduction pledges and what is required to keep global temperatures below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels.

Under banners emblazoned with the hashtag #TimeForAction, delegates largely failed to live up to this promise. The COP ended up going long into extra time after countries failed to reach an agreement on how to proceed in the allotted time. Over the final weekend delegates did manage to pull together a loose agreement on the way forward, but they have left a huge amount of work to do if meaningful progress is to be made before the landmark meeting in Glasgow at the end of 2020.

Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change & Development (ICCCAD) and Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment & Development (IIED) was heavily critical of the process at the COP, claiming that the UN process needs to change fundamentally. Speaking just after the conference had concluded, Dr Huq, who has been involved in building negotiating capacity and supporting the engagement of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) at COPs for many years, gave this verdict:

Summary of adaptation-related developments

So, what were the main developments when it came to climate change adaptation at COP25? As in past years, most of it revolved around money. Specifically, how to finance adaptation and how to compensate countries for losses and damages associated with climate change impacts that they bear little responsibility for causing.

  • Share of proceeds: One of the most controversial areas of discussion revolved around what’s known as the ‘share of proceeds’ to fund adaptation. That is deciding what share of the profits from selling carbon offsets should be set aside to help vulnerable countries adapt. The general gist was that developing countries including the African group and “G77 + China” negotiating blocs had this issue marked as a key priority. However, many developed countries are not in favour, saying that money from offsets that is diverted for spending on adaptation effectively represents a transaction tax that would affect trade. The US in particular refused to agree to this, as its position is that tax matters are a no-go area for the UN climate talks. Limited progress was made on this due to these objections. The final agreement contains only voluntary language relating to Article 6.2 (which allows countries to strike bilateral and voluntary agreements to trade carbon units) “strongly encouraging” parties to support adaptation.
  • Loss and damage: The long-running saga on loss and damage continued at COP25, and the issue remained highly controversial. Developing nations are pushing for finance to help compensate them for losses and damages incurred because of climate change impacts, and developed nations, broadly, are highly resistant to this. Negotiators set out to review the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM), which was established in 2013 to deal with the loss and damage issue. Until now, much of the focus has been on building scientific understanding of what proportion of damages might be attributable to climate change. However, as climate-related extreme events (such as hurricanes or wildfires) and ‘slow-onset’ climate change phenomena (such as sea level rise or seasonal changes in weather patterns) are becoming increasingly visible and damaging, developing countries are demanding action. Their demand is for “new and additional” money (separate from other adaptation finance) to help deal with irreversible damage. Developing nations put forward a text for consideration that called for “adequate, easily accessible, scaled up, new and additional, predictable finance, technology and capacity building”. However, this was significantly watered down – specifically omitting language around funding being “new, additional and adequate”, mainly thanks to US pressure and the issue remains unresolved. In an effort to salvage some progress, the EU tried to include loss and damage into the remit of existing mechanisms (specifically the Green Climate Fund). However, this was criticised by some as it will put additional pressure on already underfunded areas of climate finance, and could potentially reduce the amount of money available for adaptation.
  • Long Term Finance and the $100bn goal: The most significant discussions relating to financing mechanisms for climate change adaptation surrounded the climate finance goal and the related issue of long-term climate finance (LTF). The LTF workstream (which monitors progress towards scaling up of climate finance) is due to end in 2020. Most of the functions of the LTF are already replicated under the Paris Agreement, but with the US expected to withdraw from the Agreement, some parties saw merit in extending the LTF. The goal of mobilizing $100 bn annually by 2020 (for both mitigation and adaptation) was also discussed – with questions asked about whether it should be revised or extended. The outcomes of these discussions were unsatisfactory, with negotiators unable to agree even on when they should take a decision on the LTF agenda. This reflects the real concerns that the $100bn target will be missed this year, and points to very tricky negotiations in Glasgow on the issue.
  • The Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF): Little progress was made advancing the guidance documents on the two main mechanisms for delivering climate adaptation finance to developing countries. Discussions were slowed to a virtual standstill by the debate around whether they should be focussing more on loss and damage.
  • Santiago action plan: A bright spot came in the form of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action. An alliance of 51 finance ministries, the coalition presented its “Santiago action plan” which hopes to integrate climate change into decision-making about economic and financial policies.
  • Gender action plan: If anything can be described as a bright spot at COP25 it was the progress made on deciding a new five-year gender action plan (GAP). The GAP is designed to support gender-related decisions in the UNFCCC process. Despite a shaky start to proceedings, a new GAP was agreed that takes into account human rights, a ‘just transition; and indigenous peoples.
  • Koronivia joint work on agriculture: This three-year programme is due to conclude at COP26 in Glasgow and aims to provide guidelines about farming in the face of climate change. Adaptation plays a large part in these discussions, which cover everything form soil health to crop types. As with so many areas, finance remains the sticking point with developing nations demanding more money to help adapt, and developed nations pushing back. While workshops related to the programme continued in the first half of COP25, actual decisions and recommendations making their way into the final text, were thin on the ground.

A disappointing COP overall then, and one that leaves a considerable amount of work to be done at Glasgow in 2020. Finance will remain a key sticking point, however with the US unlikely to be involved in the talks, it is hoped that more progress can be made.


COP 25 signals public and private sectors coming together to green the financial system

COP 25 signals public and private sectors coming together to green the financial system

By Caroline Fouvet

The work of the financial services sector in addressing climate change was high on the agenda at COP 25 in Madrid this year. Indeed, this December, the 2019 UNFCCC climate negotiations saw multiple side events involving green finance, and one common thread that emerged was the importance of synergies between public sector-led efforts and financial institutions’ (FIs) initiatives to build a sustainable low-carbon and climate resilient financial system.

The impact of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations is one of the main underlying factors to these common endeavours aimed to tackle climate-related issues. As it stands, several countries are implementing both compulsory and voluntary measures for the financial sector to take into account transition and physical risks, including the UK and France. Launched at COP, the 2019 Investor Briefing of the Global Adaptation & Resilience Investment (GARI) Working Group, to which Acclimatise contributed, urges investors to pay attention to this growing regulatory trend. While there are a number of ways that the public and private sector will have to work together on climate action, the need for standardisation, increasing green bonds, and macroeconomic analysis of climate impacts were in sharp focus at COP25.

A call for standardisation

One of the main reasons FIs are working hand-in-hand with governments on green finance is the need for standards to consistently address climate-related risks and opportunities. The European Union sustainable finance taxonomy was, for instance, referred to in multiple instances during panel discussions and praised as an efficient tool providing clarity as to what constitutes sustainable finance.

Financial regulators present at COP 25 mentioned their work on standardisation and methodologies. The Colombian financial regulator Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia (SFC) issued a mandatory survey to take stock of the country’s financial institutions’ governance, risk management and opportunities consideration practices, in order to identify best practices and provide common definitions. The Bank of England explained that it was currently working with scientists and FIs to develop four standardised scenarios that will be published in the spring 2020 and trialled by members of the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS). The NGFS chair Mr. Frank Elderson also announced that the Network was undertaking detailed technical work on scenarios, stress-testing, environmental assessment methodologies and guidance on integrating environmental risks in supervision.

Increasing green bond growth in developed and developing countries

In the wake of standardisation initiatives, several side events at COP 25 focused on the emergence of green bonds methodologies and the collaboration of governments with FIs to enable their take up. Both developing and developed countries are proactive on the issue, as shown by Nigeria and Ireland. The former issued the first African green bond in 2017 that was successfully subscribed to, thanks to efforts from the Nigerian federal government in giving confidence to investors regarding the green projects the proceeds would be invested into. The country set up the Green Bond Private Public Sector Advisory Group, which brings together capital markets, private corporates, the Government and external development partners to support the green bond programme and enable cross-sectoral dialogue. In Ireland, the government engaged with banks and investors in developing the Irish green bond framework, which underpins the issuance green bonds and use of the proceeds to finance projects that promote Ireland’s transition to a low-carbon, climate-resilient and environmentally sustainable economy.

Macroeconomic analysis of climate impacts

Another area for collaboration was the analysis of climate change impacts on the economy, undertaken by Central Banks. A representative of the Central Bank of Costa Rica explained how 2016 hurricane Otto hit the country for the first time and impacted the inflation rate and GDP growth, leading to repercussions on the financial sector. This pushed the Central Bank to undertake analyses from a risk perspective of what climate-related events such as El Nino meant in terms of inflation, and to communicate on this topic to financial stakeholders. The Central Bank of Chile is also involved in analyses of the climate impacts on the macroeconomy.

Financial sector alignment with the Paris Agreement’s mitigation and adaptation objectives continued at COP 25

Each COP provides a platform for dialogues across continents, sectors and institutions. COP 25 reflected this collaborative spirit between FIs and government-led work to green the financial system. Climate action is now an established concept within the financial sector, as evidenced by the conversations at COP 25, which constitutes an essential step in addressing the climate emergency.

Note: COP = Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)


Cover photo taken by Caroline Fouvet at COP25.
Acclimatise at COP 25: Promoting cities’ resilience to climate change in Latin America

Acclimatise at COP 25: Promoting cities’ resilience to climate change in Latin America

By Caroline Fouvet

Cities’ role in the face of climate change was a recurring topic at COP 25. Given Acclimatise’s track record in working alongside municipalities to foster their climate resilience, Maribel Hernandez was invited to present her insights at a panel discussion convened by CAF, the Latin American development bank, the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union through its Latin America Investment Facility initiative.

The side event, entitled “Cities and Climate Change: from baseline and diagnostics to concrete measures for resilient and low-carbon cities”, convened experts who were involved in CAF’s and AFD’s efforts to support cities against climate change, through local climate analyses, prioritisation of low-carbon and resilient actions, and pre-investment studies of projects with climate co-benefits in the urban context.

Maribel Hernandez, who has co-led the development of a zonal climate vulnerability index for the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador, as well as a climate change vulnerability analysis for the Chilean regions of Atacama and O’Higgins, presented her perspective on the importance of such analyses.

Climate risk and vulnerability analyses (CRVAs) are undertaken to identify and assess climate change risks, and relevant bankable adaptation projects that will be implemented under a changing climate. A climate change context entails both obvious but also more hidden risks, and that as a result, CRVAs are necessary to uncover the latter.

An early analysis of climate risks allows to assess project success factors within the context of a changing climate, and to answer questions such as “will the project as it is currently designed operate successfully under a future climate?”, or “will the project result in more operation and maintenance costs than currently envisaged?”. The CRVAs also support having an encompassing view of the project as part of a supply chain in which critical nodes (such as roads and ports) should not be overlooked.

As for projects involving critical infrastructure, long-lived or capital-intensive assets, which are essential for cities’ development, a progressive adaptive management approach is highly recommended. This implies implementing flexible adaptation measures that could be adjusted over time and in response to more data becoming available.

In addition to identifying risks, assessing climate impacts can also lead to the identification of opportunities, linked, for instance, to where resilient investments can be made. Understanding such opportunities strengthens both cities’ climate resilience and development.

With regards to situations when data is scarce and potential solutions to overcome this barrier, the best possible use should be made of the existing information. There exists global and regional observed satellite data and projections data, that can, for instance, provide a useful level of information regardless of whether a location is considered “information-scarce”. Besides, using past information to better understand the future constitutes a way around the lack of data. Finally, stress tests could also be undertaken in the case of scarce information, to assess how the project would perform under different climate scenarios.

In addition, participants stressed the importance of involving local stakeholders that can also contribute substantial knowledge where gaps exist.  This is why engagement with all cities’ actors is an essential component of any climate-related project, which further ensures buy-in of all proposed mitigation and adaptation measures.

This side event, along others organised in Madrid this week, reflects the importance of subnational entities in the fight against climate change. As the “Time for Action” has come, cities are on the frontline to help achieve the Paris Agreement’s low-carbon and climate-resilient objectives, and need to be supported in their endeavour.


Cover photo taken by Caroline Fouvet at COP25.
First time impression of COP

First time impression of COP

By Amanda Rycerz

As a first time attendee of COP, I had a great experience and my initial sense of feeling overwhelmed quickly faded. The IFEMA venue in Madrid, Spain was huge and it took the better part of day one to sort out the lay of the land. There were overly 30 pavilions, spread out over three large halls, in addition to auditoriums and meeting rooms. In fact, on day one I missed an event as I spent the entire duration of the event trying to find the pavilion.

The COP was attended by range of people from youth and students activists to policy makers and dignitaries. The atmosphere was marked by activism (with protests occurring both outside the venue, and inside), business and formal negotiation, education and learning, networking and social interaction. It felt like being in a university where you were free to audit seminars, have coffee with a colleague, work from your laptop in a communal area, and attend an evening reception with a snack and glass of Rioja.

In addition to the official side events, the pavilions hosted their own events. I opted for the approach of surveying each pavilion’s agenda, noting down events of interest and structuring the week’s agenda accordingly. I was only aware of a handful of events before the COP and now there were tons of interesting ones to choose from each day. At the same time many of the events would fall at conflicting times, or take place in the second week when I was no longer there.

Nature-based Solutions were a hot topic this year with events taking place at a range of institutional and country pavilions including; IDB Group, Korea, European Union, International Financial Institutions, France, and more. Acclimatise supported an event at the IDB pavilion focused on scaling private sector uptake of NbS for climate resilient infrastructure. In addition to moderating the IDB event, I attended every NbS event I could find, as well as communications events, indigenous rights and climate change events, and finance events to bolster my understanding on the topic. There were many opportunities for learning and contribution. Many events were highly participatory with the audience contributing more than the speakers or panelists themselves.

The days were long, but energising. I finished my week of COP with a feeling of rejuvenation, interested in following up with contacts I had met and further looking into a topic I had learned about. My only wish would have been to stay longer to make the most of a very interesting conference.


Cover photo taken by Amanda Rycerz.
Lessons learnt on enhancing country ownership through GCF Readiness

Lessons learnt on enhancing country ownership through GCF Readiness

By Caroline Fouvet

The 2019 United Nations gathering on climate change (COP25) was an occasion for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to present its latest developments and activities. The Fund’s Readiness programme, aimed at fostering countries’ capabilities to engage with the Fund, was presented. As a result of the programme, beneficiary countries are able to strengthen their climate finance-related capacity, engage stakeholders in consultative processes, realise direct access to the GCF, access GCF finance, and mobilise the private sector.

Stakeholders directly involved in implementing GCF Readiness spoke about their experience at a GCF side event on 9th December, and how the programme had helped their countries become ready to access climate finance.

A representative from the Kingdom of Tonga’s National Designated Authority (NDA) explained how the country ensured its ownership of the Readiness programme by involving their Ministry of Finance as a delivery partner (DP). As most of GCF DPs are usually international entities, having Tonga’s Ministry of Finance responsible for the management and implementation of GCF Readiness funding constitutes an important achievement for the country’s ownership of the climate finance it receives.

Input from Fundacion Avina, a Latin American philanthropic foundation, focused on lessons learnt from their implementation as a DP of the readiness programme in Argentina, Paraguay, Ecuador, and Peru. Securing country ownership of GCF finance often implies enhancing national climate governance, educating stakeholders on climate change and what a suitable project is for the Fund, as well as taking into account a country’s local circumstances.

Finally, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) shared their experience of implementing Readiness support in Mongolia.  The GGGI representative stressed that the programmes’s objective was, first and foremost, to “help the governments to help themselves”, and that the role of international organisations such as GGGI was to provide technical assistance to government and sub-government entities to directly access climate finance. In Mongolia, GGGI contributed to the set-up of the Mongolia Green Finance Corporation (MGFC), which aims to ultimately blend GCF equity funding with international and Government finance, along with funding from national commercial banks.

On the road to ensuring low-carbon and climate-resilient growth to developing countries, it seems that building their own capacity to access climate finance constitutes the linchpin of country ownership. Programmes such as GCF Readiness empower countries to take control of their own development while ensuring its climate alignment.

Acclimatise has provided capacity building to Belize, Guyana and The Bahamas within the framework of their Readiness activities, and is about to support the second Readiness phase in Belize.


Cover photo provided by Caroline Fouvet of Acclimatise.
Acclimatise staff at COP 25

Acclimatise staff at COP 25

Several Acclimatise staff members are in attendance at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) in Madrid this week. Get in touch with these friendly faces if you are there and would like to request a meeting. Follow @Acclimatise on Twitter for more information about their plans. 


Maribel Hernández

Maribel has over 15 years of experience working in climate change adaptation and finance, providing strategic guidance to governmental, multilateral and non-governmental organisations on integrating climate change into their decision-making processes.

Maribel will be at COP25 December 10th-12th.

Events:

10/12/19 18:30-22:00 – 4th Annual Climate Resilience and Adaptation Investment Side Event

11/12/19 11:00-12:00 – Cities and Climate Change: from baseline diagnostics to concrete measures for resilient and low carbon cities (Panelist)

11/12/19 14:30-16:00 – Greening the financial market

11/12/19 15:00-16:30 – GCF-1: Raising Ambition, Empowering Action

11/12/19 – 16:45-18:15 – Aligning Financial Systems with the Paris Agreement – The Pathway to 1.5C

12/12/19 – 13:15-14:45 – Nature-based Solutions-Mangrove Conservation and Zero Deforestation Agricultural Production as Cases

12/12/19 – 15:00-16:30 – Breaking new ground: Advancing Loss and Damage governance and finance mechanisms

12/12/19 – 16:45-18:15 – Global Climate Change Policy

Contact Maribel at m.hernandez@acclimatise.uk.com

Caroline Fouvet

Caroline has over four years of experience in sustainable development and climate change. At Acclimatise, she is a climate finance analyst assisting countries to build their national climate finance capacities, secure accreditation to international funds, and develop project concepts and projects for investment.

Caroline will be at COP25 December 9th-11th.

Contact Caroline at c.fouvet@acclimatise.uk.com


Amanda Rycerz

Based in Asheville, North Carolina, Amanda supports Acclimatise’s clients on projects related to climate services, nature-based solutions and communications. Amanda has supported various communications consultancies for clients, including C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and The Rockefeller Foundation (ACCCRN).

Amanda will be at COP25 December 4th-6th.

Events:

04/12/19 18:00-20:00 – Scaling Private Sector Uptake of Nature-Based Solutions for Climate Resilient Infrastructure (Panelist)

05/12/19 10:30-12:00 – Community Climate Action: From Global to Local Restoration

05/12/19 16:45-18:25 – Nature-based adaptation to climate change in cities

Contact Amanda at a.rycerz@acclimatise.uk.com


Cover photo by John Englart on Flickr.
Training workshop: Integrating climate risk considerations into decision-making processes

Training workshop: Integrating climate risk considerations into decision-making processes

A three-day training workshop hosted by the Banking Association of South Africa (BASA) in collaboration with GIZ’s Climate Support Programme (CSP) in South Africa, will provide eight South African banks with the knowledge and tools required to take demonstrable action to embed climate risk into their existing risk management frameworks. The training will take place from November 27th to 29th at the Standard Bank Global Leadership Centre in Johannesburg.

            Through a set of interactive plenary presentations, practical exercises and contributions from guest speakers, the workshop is designed to provide training participants with an incremental understanding about the relevance of climate risk management and disclosure and its integration in existing decision-making processes, in line with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related financial Disclosure (TCFD). The training will aim to foster peer-to-peer learning between international and national banks that are at different stages of their journey in integrating climate-related risks into their governance structures, risk management processes and disclosure, as well as undertaking climate scenario analysis. Perspectives from South African companies that have been considering climate risks into their supply chains, business assets and operations, customers and other stakeholders will be also sharing their experience with the participating South African banks on the market needs and opportunities they foresee in their sectors towards a low carbon and climate resilient economy.

            Over the course of the three days, Acclimatise’s own Virginie Fayolle will introduce participating banks to relevant climate change-related risks in South Africa, as well as help them navigate the suite of climate scenario-based tools available to them for evaluating climate risks based on their existing needs and capabilities.

Key events include:

27th November 2019

10:45-11:15 Climate change-related risks in South Africa / Virginie Fayolle

11:45-12:25 Key International regulatory and market related development on climate risk management, including the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related financial Disclosure (TCFD) / Chiara Trabacchi

28th November 2019

9:15-09:45 Integrating climate risk considerations into decision-making processes in line with TCFD’s recommendations / Chiara Trabacchi

14:45-16:00 Mainstreaming climate scenario analysis in existing risk management frameworks / Virginie Fayolle

29th November 2019

9:15-9:45 Overview of climate scenario-based tools / Virginie Fayolle

9:45-11:00 Perspective from a provider and a user of climate scenario-based tools / Florence Palandri, George Harris, Jaco G. Swart, Lizette Perold, Simon Connell


Cover photo by Mark Jelley (CC BY-SA 2.5)
Acclimatise heads to New York Climate Week

Acclimatise heads to New York Climate Week

Next week, marks the return of Climate Week NYC, The Climate Group’s week-long events programme providing a space for businesses, states, cities and the whole diverse frontier of global climate action to come together. Run in coordination with the United Nation’s Climate Action Summit, Climate Week, running from 22nd-29th September brings leading organisations around the world together in an effort to extend action far and wide outside of the UN building and New York City.

Acclimatise’s Robin Hamaker-Taylor will be in attendance at a number of events involving banks and investors. Find out where you can meet and greet Robin (below), and make sure to speak to her about our analytical toolkits and services for commercial banks and investors:

23 September

10:00 – 13:00 Driving Change, Realising Impacts: Implementing the Principles for Responsible Banking: The pinnacle of this high-level event will be the signing by CEOs of their bank’s commitment to the Principles for Responsible Banking.  

16:30 – 19:00 TCFD Good Practice Handbook Launch: a celebration of the publication of the TCFD Good Practice Handbook. Keynote speakers on climate risk disclosure and accelerating the transition to a low carbon economy will be in attendance.  

17:00 – 21:00 Sustainable Future Forum: organised by Sparknews and BNP Paribas, mixing inspirational speeches, high level panel discussions, and networking sessions for a discussion on climate change.

24 September

08:30-11:00 GARI Working Group Meeting: Recap of the Finance for Adaptation Solutions & Technologies Roundtable (FASTR) event during London Climate Week and discuss the operationalisation of the GARI working group. Will also discuss what priorities and activities you believe should be the focus of GARI’s 2020 agenda.  

13:30 – 18:30 Financing a Sustainable Future: Speakers will include Patrick J. Burke, CEO, HSBC Bank USA, leading a conversation with C-suite leaders on how to make sustainability a priority from the top, and remarks from Samir Assaf, CEO, Global Banking and Markets.

17:30 – 20:00 Water: The Ultimate Climate Risk: Water, Wall Street & Climate Change investigate the risks and opportunities rising global temperatures will have on our water supplies.

18:00 – 20:00 Climate Risk & Stakeholder Expectations: Explores communicating a firm’s approach to managing climate risk.

25 September

09:30 – 17:30 Sustainable Investment Forum (SIF) North America: The Forum will welcome over 350 attendees, including asset owners and managers, banks, development institutions, policymakers, think tanks and NGOs, looking to drive the sustainability agenda. The Forum is the number one meeting place during Climate NYC for the sustainable finance community.

17:00 – 19:00 Smart Climate Data for Greater Impact: A one hour event designed to educate investors, asset owners and indexers about strategies to build climate risk resilient investment strategies.

26 September

08:30 – 12:00 Embracing a Climate Risk Mindset: Technical approach to managing climate risk by demonstrating effective corporate disclosure and risk management practices  

14:00 – 18:30 Climate Week NYC 2019: Quantifying Climate Risk: A S&P Global Perspective: Join S&P Global on Thursday Sept 26, 2019 for an essential series of discussions related to climate risk, and the evolving importance of leveraging data to find solutions. Hear from industry experts from S&P Global Ratings, Indices, Platts, and Trucost, as well as investment management and corporate senior executives, as they discuss relative analysis on ESG and Climate Risk.

27 September

10:00 – 17:00 Marketplace of the Future: an expo showcasing 50 start-ups that operate with sustainable supply chains, give-back models, and social benefit at their core.


Cover photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash.
Flood Expo keynote speakers announced

Flood Expo keynote speakers announced

The whole Flood Expo team is really excited to announce that the first wave of keynote speakers have finally been announced!

Alongside returning favourites from 2018’s keynote lineup, Mary Dhonau, from Know Your Flood Risk, and Daniel Rosenberg from Gravitas, we have a fantastic lineup of incredible speakers from across the whole Flood industry. From case studies, to addressing sustainable challenges in the flood industry, this is undoubtedly the strongest keynote speaker lineup The Flood Expo has ever seen and we hope you will agree. So we are happy to announce that the following speakers will be joining us at the NEC, on the 11th and 12th September 2019:

David Nash from the Z Zurich Foundation will share the work of Zurich’s Flood Resilience Alliance in building a system-based methodology, which goes beyond grey infrastructure solutions. He will show how their approach creates locally relevant actions, helping communities globally develop in a climate-smart and risk-informed way, and show how we can measure resilience as a result.

Fai Fung from The Met Office will speak about the future climate projections for the UK. UKCP18 is designed to help inform the management of future risks from climate variability and change, providing updated probabilistic estimates of the ranges of future climate change and results from a new suite of global, European and UK-scale climate models.

Tim Beech will speak about Thames Water’s innovative approach to managing surface water in partnership. They are working in one of the most densely populated and urbanised regions in the UK, placing a lot of pressure on drainage. He will outline their shifting emphasis towards reducing the volume of surface water entering their sewers with partnership in mind.

Alastair Moseley from the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) will explain the key elements of the new Code of Practice for Property Flood Resilience, how to access it and the huge benefits that it will bring to installers, insurance companies and millions of property owners alike throughout the UK.

Russell Turner from the Flood Forecasting Centre will explain the 10 years of partnership between the Met Office and Environment agency showing key flood events, learning points and improvements introduced to better forecast floods and provide the best information to continue to protect lives and livelihoods from the impacts of flooding.

Geordie Palmer from what3words will speak about the challenges of location in emergency response. For those delivering emergency assistance, knowing exactly where they are going is crucial and this can be a challenge when address information isn’t available. What3words gives an address of 3 simple words every 3x3m in the world. allowing precise locations to be described very easily.

Prof. Dapeng Yu from The University of Loughborough will focus on surface water flood forecasting in a changing climate where the weather is becoming increasingly untypical and uncertain.

Neil Parker from BAM Nuttall will speak about the Sustainable Challenges for the Collaborative Delivery Framework Partners. As the Environment Agency (EA) moves to its new Collaborative Delivery arrangements the presentation will focus on how the Suppliers will work in partnership with the EA and supply chain to implement sustainable solutions and meet the increasing efficiency and carbon challenges.

With their seminars yet to be announced, we can proudly confirm Livia Hollins from United Nations Climate Change and Sun Yan Evans, Technical Director & Flood Risk Management Practice Leader at Mott Macdonald will also be speaking on the Keynote Theatre at the event.

Tickets for the event are still completely free and readily available from thefloodexpo.co.uk! So go take a look at the keynote speakers so far and secure your ticket now for September 11th and 12th!