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Sustainable finance: New data for investors on environmental performance

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Date Wednesday 20 March 2019
Time 5.30 - 6.30pm
Venue Dialogue - Gorman Room, 50 Lonsdale St, Melbourne

Secure Parking at 50 Lonsdale St
Cost Free (bookings essential)

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Description

ClimateWorks Australia is delighted to invite you to a discussion with Ben Caldecott, Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme at the University of Oxford on the role of finance in limiting climate change to well below 2 degrees and new tools for investors to manage the risks and opportunities.

The Paris Agreement commits almost all countries in the world to keeping global temperature rise this century, well below 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5⁰C.

However, greenhouse gas emissions estimated to sit within existing global fossil fuel reserves are around three times higher than these targets would allow. It means much of the world's fossil fuel reserves underlying current balance sheets and valuations of investments must remain unused. This situation presents serious challenges for investors and the financial system more broadly.

Dr Ben Caldecott is the founding Director of the Oxford Sustainable Finance Programme and a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Oxford Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment. He is concurrently an Academic Visitor at the Bank of England and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University. He is also a Senior Advisor at SYSTEMIQ and a Policy Associate at the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), where he is a director-level secondee in the Strategy Directorate providing advice on a range of policy issues, many of which are related to finance, investment and market design.

In conversation with ClimateWorks Australia’s CEO Anna Skarbek, Dr Caldecott will discuss his work developing new tools to support investor influence on companies and their environmental footprints, drawing on his recent publications on Carbon Lock-In Curves and on the findings of the 7th Sustainable Finance Forum.

Topics for discussion include:

Stranded assets analysis through a global database of coal power stations worldwide, including those to exceed the carbon budgets set by the Paris Climate Agreement. Recent analysis by Ben and his colleagues found that 87.7% of Southeast Asia’s current fossil fuel generation assets are incompatible with 1.5°C, 17.8% are incompatible with 2°C, and 56.2% of Southeast Asia’s planned fossil fuel generation assets are incompatible with 1.5°C, 46.5% are incompatible with 2°C, and 14.8% with 3°C. This highlights the scale of premature closures required to meet climate change objectives and the potential for significant asset stranding in the future.

The potential for ultra-transparency through improved environmental data availability in future. Sustainable Finance Forum discussions show new technologies are increasingly being used to develop real-time and near real-time data on supply chains. For example, new satellite instruments allow the measurement and reporting almost real-time of air pollution, including the use of apps to measure localised pollution. Data capture in the form of pervasive sensors (e.g. internet of things, earth observation, cheap smartphones) is being combined with new data science techniques (e.g. machine learning) and algorithms (e.g. distributed ledgers) which have the potential to create new synthetic datasets and make corporate supply chains much more transparent. The number of earth observation sensors is growing exponentially – with hundreds of sensors launched in 2017 compared to only several per year, just a few years ago.

Please join ClimateWorks Australia and Dr Ben Caldecott, for this rare opportunity to hear a global expert discussing these and other critical areas related to sustainable finance.

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