Climate Finance Conference
On Tuesday 3 March 2020, the Intellectual Forum hosted the first Climate Finance Conference: an invitation-only gathering of key investors and world-leading scientists to discuss the market implications of climate change and the shift in natural system stability it causes.
The proper functioning of our financial systems is predicated on predictably stable natural systems. However, we have now entered an era where those natural systems are moving towards increasingly greater instability, deviating more and more from the environmental norms on which civil society depends, with devastating consequences. The evidence in the headlines has been unmistakable; recent events like the Australian bushfires, catastrophic flooding across the United States, Africa and South-East Asia, record-breaking heatwaves across Europe and North Africa, and unprecedented melting of the ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic, formed but a few headlines across the last year.
This conference convened scientific experts with specialization in different aspects of the natural system—many of whom are IPCC authors— with market participants for an eyes-wide-open analysis and discussion of the market implications of climate change and the shift in natural system stability it causes.
This invitation-only gathering of key investors and world-leading scientists was the first of its kind to offer the opportunity to understand exactly why the tail risks are no longer that but are rapidly becoming reality. The conference explored the financial implications, specifically the possibility that climate change will radically shift the market's perception of what is financeable in specific sectors, and the consequences of such a perception shift—economic, societal, regulatory and cultural. The timing was advantageous ahead of the publication of the 2021 IPCC Report, the first comprehensive assessment in seven years with the potential to alter market expectations.
The Conference followed a format of 15-minute presentations followed by 30 minute discussion periods. Sessions included talks on 'The Water Around Us', 'The New Abnormal', 'Relevant Extremes', 'Waste Management', and 'Regulation and Change'. There was also a stunning photography presentation from Daniel Beltrá, featuring photos from Antarctica to the Amazon.
The Conference was also filmed by Emmy Nominated filmmaker and New York Times Bestseller Kelly Nyks.