Climate Change


The Debate

After the formal presentations, the speakers joined a panel to listen – and respond – to views and questions from the audience on a range of topics, including: African needs; global finance; UK plans for net zero; Government as opposed to private action; and incentivisation.

Africa needs not just finance but also access to data and information, and it needs to build capacity in terms of both individuals and institutions. Countries need to align themselves to global efforts – they concentrate on adaptation and resilience but should also focus on mitigation and lowering CO2 emissions. Africa suffers from emerging diseases and a fragmented health system.

There are only five or six major groups that participate in Integrated Assessment Models for climate. That means a relatively small number of countries influence the process – and the questions being asked by the models may reflect a global North perspective.

On finance, the global community has not agreed the $100 billion package to support developing countries, and there need to be discussions on reforming global financial systems (not just the COP).

There were questions about whether the institutional arrangements for the delivery of net zero in the UK are sufficient and what the new UK Government’s plans are for energy. Three years ago, the Council for Science and Technology wrote to the then Prime Minister saying that there needs to be an integrated systems approach and therefore Government needs a systems map at the centre, measuring and monitoring and influencing competing actions. This has not been achieved yet.

To deliver the recommendations of Chris Skidmore’s review looking into the requirements for achieving net zero will require a delivery mechanism inside Government.

Private capital cannot provide sufficient investment alone, hence the need for Government action. Major infrastructure requires an unambiguous Government decision (for example, a move to a hydrogen economy needs large investments in the right infrastructure). Climate change regulators, economic regulators and financial regulators have to work together in lockstep to deliver the required results.

How can organisations and governments identify the sweet spot where taking climate action makes money? There are good examples of how to generate revenue from green initiatives, but work is needed to get this information into the public domain and for countries to learn from each other.

Incremental change will not deliver net zero and, indeed, some activities are locking in carbon for the future. To persuade people to embark on radical change, there must be the prospect of a just transition to the new system. Education is also vital and perhaps sustainability and climate change should be on every school curriculum. There is an urgent need to incentivise local communities, in order to gain public acceptance of the challenge.



COP27: A Preview – FST Blog by Alyssa Gilbert, Director of Policy & Translation at the Grantham Institute, Imperial College.

Breakthrough Agenda

Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment

Physical Climate Risk Assessment Methodology

World International Property Organisation (WIPO)