Business Risk from Climate Change


Cambridge Judge Business School
University of Cambridge
Trumpington Street

Climate change is a growing concern for businesses. Many corporations are trying to understand how it is likely to affect them, the actions that they may need to undertake for sustainability and for commercial and competitive reasons, and the regulatory requirements or other liabilities they may face.

Companies are struggling to reconcile the long range forecasts of the consequences of a warmer planet in several decades’ time with weather changes that are already impacting their businesses in various ways, and how their business will be affected by the transitions that society is making today towards a low-carbon economy. Many are considering their corporate social responsibility and accountability to shareholders, customers, and other stakeholders. An increasing number of companies are participating in the Task Force for Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to consider and disclose their climate-related risks.

The University of Cambridge has been at the forefront of climate science and has led the way in understanding the processes of climate change. It has a new cross-university initiative in Cambridge Zero which provides an opportunity for the University’s research to provide information and tools for use by businesses, as well as policymakers and others.

At this seminar we bring together business executives with climate change scientists to help improve the dialogue between them, to help businesses articulate what they need from the science to aid their business decisions, and for the scientists to help businesses understand the risks that they face and to provide information and data in formats that businesses can readily consume. At this event, we will provide:

  • Briefings and latest views on how climate change is occurring, and our state-of-knowledge about the processes that are changing the risk environment for businesses
  • Updates on the latest businesses initiatives to manage their risks from climate change, participation in TCFD, and best practice on assessing risk from climate change
  • Tools and data for businesses to assess their risks
  • Opportunities for businesses and climate scientists to exchange ideas

Wednesday 26 February 2020





Professor Daniel Ralph, Academic Director, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies, and Professor of Operations Research, Cambridge Judge Business School


Cambridge Zero
Dr Emily Shuckburgh, Director, Cambridge Zero


Applications of Climate Science for Business Risk
Dr Andrew Coburn, Chief Scientist, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies


Cambridge Climate Change Business Risk Index
Oliver Carpenter, Environmental Risk Research Lead, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies
Dr Erik Mackie, Public Engagement Coordinator, Cambridge Zero, and Honorary Reseracher, British Antarctic Survey


Using AI to Study Environmental Risk
Dr Scott Hosking, Environmental Data Scientist, British Antarctic Survey
Risa Ueno, PhD Student, British Antarctic Survey


Tea break


The Bank CRO perspective on Climate Change
Colin Church, Chief Risk Officer, EMEA, Citi


Panel discussion: Business decision making on climate risk: data, time horizons and scenarios

  • Moderator: Dr Nina Seega, Research Director, Sustainable Finance, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
  • Dr Bronwyn Claire, Senior Programme Manager, ClimateWise, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership
  • Professor Penny Endersby, Chief Executive, Met Office
  • Zoë Knight, Group Head, Centre of Sustainable Finance, HSBC
  • Jo Paisley, Co-President, GARP Risk Institute, Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)


Concluding remarks
Professor Daniel Ralph, Academic Director, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies, and Professor of Operations Research, Cambridge Judge Business School


Drinks reception, Cambridge Judge Business School



Professor Daniel Ralph

Academic Director, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies

Read more about Daniel

Professor Daniel Ralph is a Founder and Academic Director of the Centre for Risk Studies, Professor of Operations Research at Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Churchill College. Daniel’s research interests include identification and management of systemic risk, risk aversion in investment, economic equilibria models and optimisation methods. Management stress tests, via selection and construction of catastrophe scenarios, is one focus of his work in the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies. Another is the role and expression of risk management within organisations. Daniel engages across scientific and social science academia, a variety of commercial and industrial sectors, and government policy making. He was Editor-in-Chief of Mathematical Programming (Series B) from 2007-2013.

Visit Professor Daniel Ralph’s profile

Emily Shuckburgh

Cambridge Zero

Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

Director, Cambridge Zero, University of Cambridge

Read more about Emily

Emily Shuckburgh is Director of Cambridge Zero at the University of Cambridge and Reader in Environmental Data Science at the Department of Computer Science and Technology. She is a mathematician and climate scientist and a Fellow of Darwin College, a Fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, an Associate Fellow of the Centre for Science and Policy and a Fellow of the British Antarctic Survey. Dr Shuckburgh leads the UKRI Centre for Doctoral Training on the Application of AI to the study of Environmental Risks. In 2016 she was awarded an OBE for services to science and the public communication of science.

Applications of Climate Science for Business Risk

Dr Andrew Coburn

Chief Scientist, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies

Read more about Andrew

Andrew Coburn is Chief Scientist of the Centre for Risk Studies, coordinating the inputs of consumers of research into the Centre’s risk agenda. Andrew is the principal coordinator of the research programme on ‘System Shock’ at the Centre.

Andrew is one of the leading contributors to the creation of the class of catastrophe models that over the past 20 years has come to be an accepted part both of business management in financial services and of public policy making for societal risk. He has extensive experience in developing models and using them for business decision support. Andrew has also provided research inputs into government policy, such as House of Congress legislation on terrorism risk management policy and urban planning for disaster mitigation in Mexico, Metro Manila, and Southern Italy.

Dr Andrew Coburn is a member of the senior management of Risk Management Solutions, the leading provider of catastrophe risk models to the insurance industry.

Visit Andrew Coburn’s profile

Cambridge Climate Change Business Risk Index

Oliver Carpenter

Environmental Risk Research Lead, Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies

Read more about Oliver

Oliver leads research on environmental and climate change risks at the Centre for Risk Studies. His primary research interests concern addressing the near-term materiality of climate risks to business and the economy, presented by both physical extreme weather events and society’s transition to a lower carbon economy. He focuses on developing analytical frameworks to model and compare economic impacts and provide businesses with the knowledge to comprehend and drive action on climate risk. Oliver has a background in physical geography and natural hazards, and studied a first degree in Geography and an MSc in Risk (Environmental Hazards) at Durham University.

Visit Oliver Carpenter’s profile 

Erik Mackie

Cambridge Climate Change Business Risk Index

Dr Erik Mackie

Public Engagement Coordinator, Cambridge Zero, and Honorary Reseracher, British Antarctic Survey

Read more about Erik

Erik Mackie is Public Engagement Coordinator at Cambridge Zero and an Honorary Researcher at the British Antarctic Survey. His research interests include climate change, physical oceanography, satellite remote sensing, and sea level rise. He studied applied mathematics at the University of Edinburgh and completed his PhD joint between the University of Bristol and the British Antarctic Survey, using high-resolution satellite data to investigate the circulation of the Southern Ocean and its response to climate change. He was also a Policy Fellow at the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology in Westminster, where he authored a briefing for parliamentarians on sea level rise and the risks of extreme sea level events for the UK.

Scott Hosking

Using AI to Study Environmental Risk

Dr Scott Hosking

Environmental Data Scientist, British Antarctic Survey

Read more about Scott

Scott Hosking is an Environmental Data Scientist at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). His research involves using AI and machine learning techniques on vast and various datasets, including the output from global climate models and weather stations. The primary aims of Scott’s work are to identify and understand the key mechanisms that drive year-to-year climate variability over vulnerable regions, the changes in frequency and strength of extreme weather events, and to reduce uncertainties in future climate predictions.

Risa Ueno

Using AI to Study Environmental Risk

Risa Ueno

PhD Student, British Antarctic Survey

Read more about Risa

Risa Ueno is a PhD student at the British Antarctic Survey and the University of Cambridge. Her work focuses on developing machine learning techniques to obtain better future projections of climate extremes in megacities and assessing their potential impact on urban infrastructure resilience. She has a masters in computational statistics and machine learning from UCL and studied undergraduate physics at Imperial College London. She worked at IBM as a technology consultant for two years before discovering the world of machine learning research.

Colin Church

The Bank CRO perspective on Climate Change

Colin Church

Chief Risk Officer, EMEA, Citi

Read more about Colin

Colin is responsible for managing Risk across Citi’s Institutional Client Group, including Citi Private Bank, Consumer and Commercial Banking businesses in EMEA. He is a member of the EMEA Operating Committee, Global Risk Management Executive Committee and Global Information Security Committee. Colin managed Citi’s cross-divisional contingency planning and crisis management events, notably orchestrating Citi’s responses to the Arab Spring, GIIPS, Russia / Ukraine, Argentina (2016) and most recently U.K. Referendum and Brexit contingency plans. He established Citi’s “second line” Cyber Risk Management Function and is a member of the Bank of England’s Cross Market Operational Resilience Group (CMORG).


Nina Seega

Dr Nina Seega

Research Director, Sustainable Finance, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Read more about Nina

Nina is an expert in the use of risk management tools to address environmental sources of risk in the financial sector and has just been appointed Academic Visitor at the Bank of England. In 2016 and 2017 she has co-led the CISL team serving as Knowledge Partner for the risk analysis track of the G20 Green Finance Study Group. She also sits on the Strategic Advisory Board for Sustainable Finance at the British Standards Institute and Advisory Board of the Hughes Hall Climate Change Engagement Centre. Previously, Nina was the Head of the London Traded Products Desk for Dresdner Kleinwort, where she was responsible for credit risk management of traded products

CISL’s Centre for Sustainable Finance works with more than 50 global financial institutions across banking, insurance and investment, providing insight to challenge current assumptions and lead change on their response to climate change. The Centre’s leadership groups include ClimateWise, the Banking Environment Initiative, the Investment Leaders Group, and its research includes understanding the role of the financial system in financing a sustainable, zero carbon economy.

Bronwyn Claire

Dr Bronwyn Claire

Senior Programme Manager, ClimateWise, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Read more about Bronwyn

Dr Bronwyn Claire leads ClimateWise, a group of 25 insurance industry members who are responding to the risks and opportunities of climate change. ClimateWise members are annually independently reviewed on the integration of the seven ClimateWise Principles across their business activities, including leading in the identification, understanding and management of climate risk, informing public policy, incorporating climate-related issues into investments and strategies, and supporting climate awareness amongst clients and customers. The ClimateWise Principles Independent Review 2019 is a milestone for ClimateWise members, representing the first year of reporting in full alignment with the TCFD and providing useful reflections on the challenges and opportunities for the industry in implementing TCFD recommendations. ClimateWise members also actively participate in various research projects that explore how the industry can better support society to transition to a zero carbon, climate-resilient future. Last year ClimateWise launched the Transition and Physical risk frameworks for assessing the impact of risks from climate change on infrastructure assets.

Penny Endersby

Professor Penny Endersby

Chief Executive, Met Office

Read more about Penny

Penny grew up in North London and gained her first experience of scientific research as a WISE Scholar at GEC in her sixth form. She read Natural Sciences at Cambridge, and was sponsored by British Gas, where she researched the then new area of solid oxide fuel cells. She joined the Ministry of Defence as a Scientific Officer in 1993. There she designed novel armours for fighting vehicles, conducting many explosives trials and becoming the national expert on electrically powered armours. She led several research groups in the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), covering Materials Science, Acoustics, Dispersion Hazard Prediction and more before leading Dstl’s Physics Department, and becoming a fellow and trustee of the Institute of Physics. In 2012 she moved to be the head of Dstl’s Cyber and Information Division and took up her visiting professorship in Electronics and Computer Science at Southampton University. She was the executive sponsor of Dstl’s gender equality network and a county silver commander for major incident response. Just prior to taking over at the Met Office Penny became Dstl’s acting Chief Technical Officer. She was appointed the first female CEO at the Met Office in 2018, and is our national representative at the World Meteorological Congress.

Penny has a strong interest in innovation and exploiting intellectual property, as part of which she has served as a director of Ploughshare Innovations and a mentor for Future Worlds. In her personal life she is an expert choral singer and lover of the natural world, which also led to a stint as treasurer and trustee of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. She is married to a teacher and they have two grown-up children, both also singers.

Zoe Knight

Zoë Knight

Group Head, Centre of Sustainable Finance, HSBC

Read more about Zoë

Zoë is a Managing Director and Group Head of the HSBC Centre of Sustainable Finance which she set up in 2018. The Centre collaborates with colleagues across HSBC and external partners to produce thought leadership on critical issues to scale up and mobilise capital to address sustainability challenges, particularly climate change. Since joining HSBC in 2010, Zoë has co-authored reports on low-carbon opportunities in bond and equity markets, as well as long-term carbon and water risks. She has worked in financial markets providing advisory services to a global client base since 1997. Zoë is a Commissioner on the Energy Transition Commission and is a Member of the WEF Global Future Council on Global Public Goods in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Jo Paisley

Jo Paisley

Co-President, GARP Risk Institute, Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP)

Read more about Jo

Jo Paisley is Co-President of the GARP Risk Institute, the thought leadership arm of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Set up in early 2018, the Institute works across all risk disciplines, focussing to date on climate risk management and scenario analysis, stress testing and operational resilience. Prior to joining GARP, she worked at the Bank of England in a variety of roles, across macroeconomics, statistics, supervision and risk. Her last role was as a Director of the Supervisory Risk Specialists Division within the Prudential Regulation Authority. She left the Bank in 2015 and joined HSBC as their Global Head of Stress Testing. She has also worked as an independent stress testing consultant, advising firms on how to get the most value out of their stress testing.