Monday 28th November 2022
17.00 – 20:30
The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street London W1S 4BS
On Monday 28th November, the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) launched its London CGFI Innovation Hub at the Royal Institution. The event brought together leading academics and industry professionals in discussion on climate analytics and the growing role of climate data and innovation for the financial services sector. The Hub offers a space and support for businesses, policy makers, academics, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs to collaborate on climate challenges facing financial institutions.
The Hub was introduced by Dr Ben Caldecott (Director, CGFI), who explained the mission of the CGFI and the need for climate data, analytics and expertise to reach decisionmakers in UK financial institutions. Dr Nick Appleyard (Head of Space Solutions, European Space Agency) announced a partnership between ESA and CGFI to promote and advance the use of space in support of green finance solutions. Prof Francisco Veloso (Dean, Imperial College Business School) welcomed the Hub, and outlined Imperial Business’s advances in external partnerships and data processing capacity, and the development of the Climate Investment Challenge and Grantham Institute Greenhouse. Dr Yllka Hysaj (Research Associate, CGFI) explained the purpose of the Hub and situated its innovation and collaboration goals in the context of London’s development as a net zero global financial centre.
The launch featured case studies of applied climate and environmental analytics from Harry Grocott, (CEO of Treeconomy, part of the Imperial Greenhouse cohort), who shared the Sherwood platform for monitoring, reporting and verifying on carbon credits; and Dr Mark Bernhofen (Research Associate, CGFI) introduced the Global Resilience Index Initiative, an open tool which combines global data across hazards and vulnerabilities to map and understand climate risk.
The event culminated in a panel discussion chaired by Prof Michael Wilkins (Professor of Practice at the Centre for Climate Finance and Investment at Imperial College Business School), with experts discussing the challenge of scaling climate analytics for industry. Discussion focused on the growing demand and need for climate data to inform decision-making in fintech and financial institutions, and the challenges in translating climate research into business decision-making.
Susanne Chishti (CEO, FINTECH Circle) called for an ecosystem of fintech companies in the climate space. She noted that fintech demand for climate data is growing, with start-ups looking to meet ESG goals, and non-executive directors seeking more detail on evaluating risks, and that network-building around climate tech would be an important route forward.
From a financial institution perspective, Andrew Elphick (Head of Innovation – Interim, Barclays) pointed to a need to understand customer demand and the financial sector’s climate data needs, in a context where stakeholders are increasingly engaging with climate problems and need to apply climate data, and where regulatory requirements are shaping the nature of this engagement.
On engaging climate science, Dr Claire Burke (Director of Science, Climate X) discussed the need for external expertise in interpreting model outputs and translation from science to finance, to ensure the financial industry is able to engage effectively with climate science. In particular Dr Burke highlighted the need for industry to understand existing and locked-in physical risks.
Focusing on the role of start-ups, James Byrne (Partner, Sustainable Ventures) commented on the opportunity to boost climate modelling in the UK’s strong financial industry, and discussed ways in which industry could encourage scientists to collaborate and engage.
Across the discussion, the panellists emphasised an urgent need for collaboration on datasets, tools and knowledge exchange. Particular importance was placed on effectively translating needs and insights between the differing languages and assumptions of finance, fintech and climate science. The event concluded with an extended networking session; see our Hub page and events in due course for more details on the Hub and its activities.
About the Hub
The London CGFI Innovation Hub provides a space and support for businesses, policy makers, academics, professionals, investors and entrepreneurs to collaborate on climate analytics challenges facing financial institutions.
The Hub’s 2023 activities will support innovation in climate and environmental analytics by connecting actors with networking events; signposting to funding and opportunities; disseminating research insights and practical applications from the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) and the broader UK scientific community; and more.
The Hub is hosted at the Royal Institution in partnership between the UK CGFI, Grantham Institute – Climate Change and the Environment/Centre for Climate Change Innovation and Imperial College Business School/Centre for Climate Finance & Investment.