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Why Should the Taxpayer Fund Science and Research?

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Download the report or watch the lecture online.

Science Policy Podcasts

Climate Change and Financial Risk

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  • Read the note of the event
  • Watch videos of the event below

The policy discourse on climate change has tended to focus primarily on mitigation in order to reduce carbon emissions and minimise a global temperature rise. However, with growing evidence pointing to a likely global average temperature rise of more than 2ºC, possibly within decades, it is apparent that future efforts also need to focus much more seriously on adapting to the effects of climate change that are now inevitable.

This event considered the financial risks associated with climate change adaptation, or the lack thereof. It addressed potential scenarios of climate change and adaptation, and explored the degree of awareness amongst business leaders and policy makers of the risks presented by a changing climate.

Through a particular focus on water, the event addressed some of the specific financial risks of climate change in more depth. It investigated the financial and business risks of both flood and drought, including the challenges facing the continued operation of business, and increasing and unpredictable insurance exposure to such risks.

The event also reflected upon the actions that businesses will need to take in order to adapt to changed circumstances brought about by climate change, and the role of policy-makers in mitigating the associated risks and establishing the appropriate policy frameworks.

Organised by UCL Public Policy, in conjunction with Aon, the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, and the UCL Environment Institute


Professor Bill McGuire, Professor of Geophysical & Climate Hazards, Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Centre

Rob Bailey, Senior Research Fellow for Energy, Environment & Resource Governance, Chatham House

Bob Piggott, Head of Group Contingency Risk, HSBC

Dr Sarah Bell, UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Dr Julien Harou, UCL Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Bill Peck, Head of Corporate Planning, Aon

Lisa Horrocks, Project Director for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation, AEA

Darius Campbell, Head of Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation, DEFRA Group

Chaired by Julian O'Halloran, BBC


  • Introduction

  • Bill McGuire

  • Rob Bailey

  • Bob Piggott

  • Dr Sarah Bell

  • Dr Julien Harou

  • Bill Peck

  • Lisa Horrocks

  • Darius Campbell

Watch the Q&A sessions below

  • Discussion 1

  • Discussion 2

  • Listen to Professor Bill McGuire discuss how rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets as a result of climate change could trigger volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis on the Guardian Science Weekly podcast.

Page last modified on 19 mar 12 10:24