Nicholas Stern

Commenting on the announcement today (20 July 2017), by the UK Government’s Department for International Development, of further details about the new Centre for Global Disaster Protection, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern of Brentford, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“The new Centre provides a unique opportunity to draw on world class expertise from academia, the humanitarian sector and the global financial industry to explore innovative ways of using finance to help poor countries in Africa and around the world to become more resilient against the economic impacts of disasters.

“For instance, it should explore how early warning systems could allow finance to be mobilised before the full impacts of a disaster occur, and how finance can be used to incentivise investments in more resilient buildings and infrastructure. In addition, it should explore the potential for insurance to complement emergency aid. Prompt financial responses that are agreed in advance can dramatically reduce the overall economic damage from disasters.

“The African Risk Capacity has demonstrated that rapid pay-outs as soon as crops are exposed to a failure of seasonal rainfall can limit the consequences of drought and prevent the triggering of a famine.

“The Centre can bring together experts in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation to investigate how to future-proof efforts to improve the economic resilience of poor countries against extreme weather events.

“The creation of the Centre should be viewed in the context of the G20 leaders’ communiqué earlier this month, which explicitly stated that their highest priority is strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth, and to align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

“The Centre is an important part of promoting resilient economic development in poor countries and shows that the UK Government is being firmly internationalist, pragmatic and moral in pursuing the shared global agenda in a very direct way.”


For more information about this media release please contact Victoria Druce on +44 (0) 207 107 5865 or or Bob Ward on +44 (0) 7811 320346 or



  1. Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, as well as I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since July 2013, Lord Stern has been President of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Lord Stern was with HM Treasury between October 2003 and May 2007. He served as Second Permanent Secretary and Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of the economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007.


  1. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment ( was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (



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