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Published: 27 Aug 2021

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Essential viewing for financial services professionals starts next month with the first three of six webinars from ICAEW, for those who want to get up to speed on climate change, writes Brian Cantwell.

When the IPCC report hit earlier this month, it was front page news. Dire prognostics from the UN’s experts painted a dismal picture after a summer of floods, fires, and intense weather across the globe.

For those in financial services, the realisation that the risks are real and will become part of the costs of doing business is slowly becoming a reality.

ICAEW has curated six webinars, with the first three in September, to promote understanding and base responses to common objections from banks, insurers and investment managers to climate policy change.

The first webinar on 8th September at 11am (ESG Series: The science behind the risks we face), sees three expert scientists from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) explain why and what climate risks are, from local biodiversity issues compared to global climate change patterns, and how that affects human health and disease.

The panel of scientists will be chaired by ICAEW insurance Committee chair Hitesh Patel, who will lead the debate from a financial services perspective, but with expert testimony from the climate experts.

The second webinar, on 15th September at 11am (ESG Series: Data) addresses the common complaint that there is no actionable data for institutions like banks and insurers to use for modelling. This webinar breaks the deadlock by explaining ways to generate data, how urgent it is to start now, rather than wait for third party data. While the issues are complex the work must start today.

The third webinar, on 21st September at 4pm (ESG Series: Physical Risk and Transition Risk) looks at physical and transition risk, how to model for them, and how businesses can obtain the necessary information and tools for managing these risks. This webinar is designed to help adapt practical steps to make a real difference in this process and look beyond climate change too. Our experts from Moody’s and South Pole will use real life examples of tools, processes and organisations to show that it can be done.

All the webinars are free to attend:

ICAEW Technical Manager Zsuzsanna Schiff says: “Listening to the webinar series I really want the audience to feel the sense of urgency and at the same time provide some help towards feeling more in control. We must stop using the “no data available” excuse and start taking responsibility for organisations’ as well as individual actions. It is a huge challenge but by not making enough progress it will only get worse.”