Risk Center Recorded Talks and Virtual Events

Climate Change and the Transition to a Carbon-free Economy: Managing Risks and Harnessing Opportunities (Panel 4)

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop, December 3, 2021

Panel 4: The Future of Carbon Markets

This panel focused on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, the California cap-and-trade market, and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Panelists discussed 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
  • Katie Dykes, Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • Alex Rau, Environmental Commodity Partners LP
  • Emily Wimberger, Rhodium Group
  • Moderator: Arthur van Benthem, Associate Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy, The Wharton School

Climate Change and the Transition to a Carbon-free Economy: Managing Risks and Harnessing Opportunities (Panel 3)

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop, December 3, 2021

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 discussed to what extent mortgage and housing markets are incorporating information about climate risk, how investors in real estate and financial markets are influencing the path of adaptation and changing risk perceptions, and what tools 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

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

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop, December 3, 2021

Keynote Address:

Marisa Drew, W’92

Chief Sustainability Officer & Global Head Sustainability Strategy, Advisory and Finance

Credit Suisse

Climate Change and the Transition to a Carbon-free Economy: Managing Risks and Harnessing Opportunities (Panel 2)

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop, December 3, 2021

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 the decarbonization of the economy. Panelists discussed the impacts of climate on the industry and the multi-faceted roles the sector can play.

  • Francis Bouchard, Managing Director for Climate, MarshMcLellan, MMC Advantage
  • 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

Climate Change and the Transition to a Carbon-free Economy: Managing Risks and Harnessing Opportunities (Panel 1)

Wharton Risk Center Annual Workshop, December 3, 2021

Panel 1: Climate Change, the Financial Sector, and Financial Regulation

This panel discusses the issue of climate risk as a 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 and Deputy Head of ESG, Blackstone
  • Moderator: Sarah Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School

Careers Panel: The Future of Business and Climate

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 at 6:00pm

Climate change has inexorably become a game-changing force in recent years, reshaping various industries and moving towards the center of debates over national and corporate strategies. What climate risks are industries facing today? How are companies adapting and responding to the climate crisis? How can they be part of the solution and lead the way? What are opportunities for young professionals today? What is the next frontier?

Penn students were invited to hear a panel discussion with Wharton alumni who have experience working in energy storage, real estate, infrastructure, transportation, and smart home technology & insurance across countries including U.S., China, and Singapore. This moderated panel was followed by an open Q&A and discussion.

Panelists:

  • Walter Czarnecki, Chief Commercial Officer, Livient
  • Juan Martinez, Senior Director, USAA Real Estate
  • Daniel Pulido, Senior Investment Officer, Global Infrastructure and Natural Resources Department at International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group
  • Moderator: Daniel Turgel, CEO & Founder, MindHome

Mitigating and Insuring Wildfires

Thursday, October 22, 2021 at 1:30 PM

Wildfires in California have caused record-breaking losses that are likely to increase in the future due to the impacts of climate change. More than three times as many acres have burned to date in 2021 compared to the same period in the record-breaking previous year, with drought, extreme heat, and reduced snowpack contributing to the severity of the fires.

This panel focused on the important roles of homeowners, communities, and insurance to curtail damages from future wildfires.

Panelists:

  • Rex Frazier, President, Personal Insurance Federation of California. Rex represents PIFC’s member companies before the California State government and provides advice on legislative, regulatory, litigation, and political matters.
  • Robert A. Reader, Managing Director, Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC. Rob specializes in the placement of property and casualty reinsurance lines, especially wildfire.
  • Michael Wara, Director, Climate and Energy Policy Program, and Senior Research Scholar, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University. Michael assists policymakers engaged in the development of novel climate and energy law and regulation.
  • Roy E. Wright, President & Chief Executive Officer, Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Roy leads a team of scientists and risk communicators who deliver strategies to build safer and stronger homes and businesses.
  • Michael Young, Vice President, Model Product Management, Risk Management Solutions (RMS). Michael leads a team that establishes requirements and features for RMS climate models.
  • Moderator: Howard Kunreuther, James G. Dinan Professor Emeritus; Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, University of Pennsylvania

Wharton #BeyondBusiness: Tackling the Climate Crisis

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at 4:30 pm

Wharton’s Beyond Business series resumes with “Tackling the Climate Crisis,” a discussion on how businesses should evaluate their environmental footprint. Hosted by Dean Erika James as part of the Tarnopol Dean’s Lecture Series, this event – which originally streamed live on the Wharton LinkedIn page –was the first of three Fall 2021 sessions on the topic of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG): http://whr.tn/beyondbusiness

Panelists included:

  • Benjamin Keys, Rowan Family Foundation Prof. of Real Estate & Finance, The Wharton School
  • Sarah E. Light, Associate Prof. of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, The Wharton School
  • David Swift, Chief Operating Officer, Engine No. 1

WCNCR Climate Change Conference - Day 1

October 18, 2021

The Wharton Club of the National Capital Region hosted a virtual Climate Change Conference from October 18-21, 2021. The conference was co-hosted by the Wharton Risk Center, ColumbiaDC and several other Wharton Clubs across the nation. The event brought together experts to examine core topics of climate change and open doors for new opportunities and collaboration. Topics focused on climate change mitigation, restoration, and investment opportunities.

Watch the other days’ recordings and learn more about the conference panelists and sessions here.

And learn about the WCNCR and become a member here: www.whartonclubncr.org

Wharton Climate Prof 2021 - A Penn Climate Week Event

Thursday, September 23, 2021 at 5:15 PM

Inspired by “Iron Chef” and Wharton’s own “Iron Prof” events, this presentation was a part of a special event that took place during Penn’s Climate Week (September 20 – 24, 2021) to showcase the climate-related research of Wharton faculty. Watch this recording to hear from all ten Wharton scholars who each presented their cutting-edge research on climate and business in five minutes or less. If you’d prefer to watch a specific presentation, they are available as separate videos here.

This event was moderated by Sarah Light and hosted by the Business, Climate and Environment Lab.

Participating Faculty:

  • Mike Abito, Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy
  • Arthur van Benthem, Associate Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy
  • Brian Berkey, Assistant Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics
  • Susanna Berkouwer, Assistant Professor of Business Economics & Public Policy
  • Mirko Heinle, Associate Professor of Accounting
  • Vit Henisz, Deloitte & Touche Professor of Management
  • Ben Keys, Rowan Family Foundation Professor of Real Estate
  • Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director, Wharton Risk Center
  • Sarah Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics
  • Luke Taylor, Associate Professor of Finance

Insurance, Climate Change, and Our Housing and Mortgage Markets

Monday, August 23, 2021 at 3:00 PM

Insurance can be central to securing a mortgage and protecting homeowners. Yet, as climate risks grow, insurance premiums are going to necessarily need to rise to reflect the risk. These projected future increases in risk are often hidden from the market – which is limited to one-year contracts – while long-lived decisions are being made, such as the issuance of 30-year mortgages or the siting of development. This featured a panel discussion on how risk will grow in the coming decades, how pricing and insurance might react, and the impacts on housing and mortgage markets. The discussion focused on how to correct this information failure and send clear signals on the increasing risk to market participants.

Panelists:

  • Ben Keys, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (moderator)
  • Kristy Dahl, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Lynn Fisher, Federal Housing Finance Agency
  • Matt Kahn, University of Southern California
  • Michael Lacour-Little, Fannie Mae

This webinar is part of a series this summer and fall hosted by the Wharton Risk Center on insurance and climate change. Please find details for the series online here.

A Climate Crisis In Insurance Markets?

Thursday, August 12, 2021 at 3 p.m.

Climate change is threatening the ability to offer insurance against some climate-related disasters. This webinar highlighted challenges in the California homeowners market related to wildfires, and in the southeast U.S. related to hurricanes and floods. Panelists discussed the many public insurance programs in operation, existing cross-subsidies in disaster insurance pricing, and the difficult choices that will face regulators, program managers, and Congress in the coming years. The webinar ended with a discussion of policy proposals to address these challenges and the need to rapidly address climate change.

Participants:

  • Nancy Watkins, Milliman, (moderator)
  • Patty Born, Florida State University
  • Lloyd Dixon, RAND
  • Kelly Hereid, Liberty Mutual
  • Brian Powell, Alabama Department of Insurance

This webinar is part of a series this summer and fall hosted by the Wharton Risk Center on insurance and climate change. Please find details for the series online here.

Innovations In Flood Insurance In Times of Climate Change

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Lloyds Tercentenary Research Foundation, The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics, and the Wharton Risk Center at the University of Pennsylvania hosted a discussion on climate-related innovations in insurance markets. Panelists discussed innovations in flood insurance and approaches to ensuring broader access to the financial resilience benefits of insurance through inclusive insurance models.

Participants:

  • Andrew Carrier, President, Lloyds Tercentenary Research Foundation (moderator)
  • Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director, Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center
  • Swenja Surminski, Deputy Director and Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics
  • Craig Tillman, President, Seismic Risk, Structural Vulnerability, Wildfire, Risk Management and Mitigation, Renaissance

Insurance and Climate Risk Management

Monday, July 19, 2021

This webinar used the draft report of the California Climate Insurance Working Group as the basis for a discussion about what we can do to better harness insurance as a tool for climate resilience. Panelists will discuss whether the recommendations in the report about innovative insurance and supporting public sector risk communication and risk reduction policies can inform efforts to build climate resilience beyond California. What innovations are most promising? What is needed to advance them?

Participants:

  • Carolyn Kousky (moderator)
  • Alex Kaplan, AmWINS
  • Samantha Medlock, U.S. House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis
  • Mike Peterson, California Department of Insurance
  • Craig Stewart, Insurance Bureau of Canada
  • Simon Young, Willis Towers Watson

This webinar is part of a series this summer and fall hosted by the Wharton Risk Center on insurance and climate change. Please find details for the series online here.

Harnessing Insurance for Climate Resilience: Findings of the California Climate Insurance Working Group

Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 12pm

With California communities increasingly exposed to climate change-related threats, California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara wrote the nation’s first climate insurance law to explore innovative strategies that reduce the risk. He appointed a working group of subject matter experts to make recommendations as to how California can harness insurance to better manage climate risks. In this webinar, a few members of the working group discussed the findings and next steps for California and other places wishing to harness innovative insurance approaches.

  • Participants:
    • Mike Peterson (moderator), CA Department of Insurance
    • Alice Hill, Council on Foreign Relations
    • Carolyn Kousky, Wharton Risk Center
    • Serena Sowers, Swiss Re
    • Raghuveer Vinukollu, Munich Re

This webinar is part of a series this summer and fall hosted by the Wharton Risk Center on insurance and climate change. Please find details for the series online here.

Can Finance Solve the Climate and COVID Crises?

Wednesday, April 28, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Financial regulators, such as the European Central Bank and the Fed in the United States, are actively considering their role in solving global crises, such as climate change and the current pandemic. Likewise, private institutions like banks, investment funds, and others are taking active steps to promote a transition to a low-carbon economy.

Navindu Katugampola, Executive Director at Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sarah E. Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics at the Wharton School, discussed what these regulators and firms are doing to address these crises, and what more they can do to promote the transition to a low-carbon economy going forward.

Morgan Stanley Investment Management Limited (MSIM Ltd) is authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England. Registered No. 1981121. Registered Office: 25 Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 4QA.

CHARTING THE ELECTRIC VEHICLE FUTURE: THIS MOMENT’S ACCELERATORS AND ROADBLOCKS

Thursday, April 22, 2021 at 4:30 PM

Multiple factors at the moment appear to be accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EVs) in the United States, including the announcement by General Motors of its decision to move away from the internal combustion engine, new policies from the Biden Administration, and continued advances in battery technology. Drawing on four distinctive yet interrelated perspectives, this panel – with speakers from the automotive industry, regulators, battery R&D, and clean technology infrastructure – will explore how best to promote a smooth transition and minimize those roadblocks.

Panelists:

Ann Carlson, General Counsel of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Pasquale (Pat) Romano, President and CEO, ChargePoint
Margaret Mann, Center for Integrated Mobility Sciences, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Department of Energy
Hossein Hassani, Director of EV Ecosystems, General Motors

Moderators:

Sarah E. Light, Associate Professor of Legal Studies and Business Ethics, Co-Faculty Lead, Business, Climate, & Environment Lab at the Wharton Risk Center
John Paul MacDuffie, Professor of Management, Director of Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI)

Co-sponsored by two research centers at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania:

Program on Vehicle and Mobility Innovation (PVMI), Mack Institute on Innovation Management

Business, Climate, and Environment Lab of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center

Carolyn Kousky's FEMA PrepTalk

“Harnessing the Power of Disaster Insurance.”  January 16, 2020.

In her FEMA PrepTalk, Dr. Carolyn Kousky, Executive Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, demonstrates the essential role of #insurance in disaster recovery. She explains why not enough people have insurance coverage, and offers suggestions for how the public and private sectors can work together to overcome challenges to increasing insurance coverage across America.

Howard Kunreuther's FEMA PrepTalk

“Human Biases: Why People Underprepare for Disasters.” January 19, 2020.

In his FEMA PrepTalk, Prof. Howard Kunreuther Co-Director of the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, discusses the processes and biases in decision-making under uncertainty. He also proposes a behavioral risk audit that couples protective decision-making with economic incentives, enabling individual and collective actions to achieve greater resilience.

Additional Videos