Climate Change and the Transition to a Carbon-free Economy: Managing Risks and Harnessing Opportunities

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop

December 3, 2021

Organized by the Business, Climate, and Environment Lab



8:45 – 9:00 a.m. Welcome

  • Bob Meyer, Faculty Director, Wharton Risk Center
  • Sarah Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School

9:00 – 10:15 a.m. Panel 1: Climate Change, the Financial Sector, and Financial Regulation

This panel will discuss the issue of climate risk as financial risk. We will consider how firms in the private sector are both managing climate risk and harnessing opportunities and the roles that financial regulators in the United States and the EU are and ought to be playing to address climate change.

  • Kalin Anev Janse, CFO European Stability Mechanism
  • Brian Lehman, W’02, Managing Director, Head of Green Economy Banking, JP Morgan Chase
  • Elizabeth Lewis, Managing Director of ESG (Corporate), Blackstone
  • Moderator: Sarah Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School

10:15– 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 – 11:45 a.m. Panel 2: Climate Change and Insurance Markets

As the planet warms, disaster insurance is going to become ever more critical in order to secure financial resilience in the face of escalating extreme events. Yet, these same trends also raise questions of continued affordability and availability of insurance. The insurance sector also has a role to play beyond adaptation in helping to support decarbonization of the economy. Panelists will discuss the impacts of climate on the industry and the multi-faceted roles the sector can play.

  • Robert Muir-Wood, Chief Research Officer, RMS
  • Isabelle Santenac, Global Insurance Leader, EY
  • Swenja Surminski, Deputy Director and Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics
  • Moderator: Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director, Wharton Risk Center

11:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Break

12:00 – 12:45 p.m. Key Note: Marisa Drew, W’92, Chief Sustainability Officer, Credit Suisse

12:45 – 1:00 p.m. Break

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Panel 3: Climate Change and U.S. Housing Markets

Climate change represents the fundamental existential threat to the $36 trillion U.S. housing market. This panel will discuss to what extent are mortgage and housing markets incorporating information about climate risk, how are investors in real estate and financial markets influencing the path of adaptation and changing risk perceptions, and what tools do policymakers have at their disposal to mitigate growing risks and help the most vulnerable communities.

  • David Burt, Founder & CEO, DeltaTerra Capital
  • Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist, Redfin
  • Miyuki Hino, Assistant Professor of City and Regional Planning, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Moderator: Ben Keys, Rowan Family Foundation Professor of Real Estate, The Wharton School

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. Break

2:30 – 3:45 p.m. Panel 4: The Future of Carbon Markets.

The panel on the Future of Carbon Markets focuses on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the California cap-and-trade market, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. We will discuss how well these markets are performing, what kinds of reforms might be needed, what investors believe about future carbon-allowance prices, and the lessons that these systems can learn from each other, among other topics.

  • Casey Dwyer, W ’17, Andurand Capital
  • Alexander (Alex) Rau, Environmental Capital Partners
  • Emily Wimberger, Rhodium Group
  • Moderator: Arthur van Benthem, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, The Wharton School