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Charting a New Path on Climate Change, Oceans and Financial Risks

Hosted by the Institute of Global Affairs and the School of Public Policy and the Centre for Economic Policy R

Online public event


Elod Takats

Elod Takats

Principal Economist, Financial Systems and Regulation, Monetary and Economic Department, BIS

Torsten Thiele

Torsten Thiele

Visiting Fellow, Institute of Global Affairs, LSE and Executive Director, Global Ocean Trust

Oliver Walker

Oliver Walker

Principal, Natural Resources, Vivid Economics


Swenja Surminski

Swenja Surminski

Head of Adaptation Research, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

Decision makers often shy away from investment in climate resilience because of its lack of political appeal.  But such investments, including investing in our planet’s natural resources – or “natural capital” – in particular, are cost effective and can be hugely beneficial for whole sectors of society.  They are crucial to reducing the negative impact of climate change, unlocking development potential and protecting our environment. What can policymakers, including central banks and regulators, do to encourage the flow of finance to our cities, our forests and our oceans to reduce the risks from climate change? What can we all do to make sure our COVID economic recovery packages include both the policies and investments for climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Előd Takáts is Principal Economist, Financial Systems and Regulation in the Monetary and Economic Department of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). As a member of the Financial Systems and Regulation unit, he provides analytical support for the international regulatory reform agenda. He also represents the BIS on the Basel Committee's Macroprudential Supervision Group, and on the Financial Stability Board's working groups, including the Derivatives Assessment Team. Furthermore, a visiting fellowship at the Institute of Global Affairs, LSE allows him to combine academic and policy work. Previously, he helped to organise the BIS's bimonthly and other meetings for central banks. His policy work has focused on emerging markets, particularly those of central and eastern Europe. Before joining the BIS in 2009, his career at the International Monetary Fund covered several departments and countries, the last one being China. He took part in surveillance and program missions, and in financial sector assessments. He earned his PhD in finance at Princeton University.

Torsten Thiele is a sustainable finance and ocean governance expert, drawing on over 20 years experience in project and infrastructure finance. As Visiting Fellow at LSE IGA and Associate at LSE GRI he researches innovative blue finance approaches and ocean policy solutions. Torsten Thiele is Executive Director of Global Ocean Trust, Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam and Senior Advisor to the IUCN Blue Natural Capital Financing Facility. Recent publications address blue infrastructure and nature-based solutions, innovative High Seas finance, Blue bonds and deep sea governance.

Oliver Walker, Principal, Natural Resources, Vivid Economics. Oliver manages the natural resources practice group and is involved in work across the finance, growth and development and earth observation practice areas. His clients include utilities, investors, insurers, government agencies, development banks and NGOs. Oliver’s career as a professional economist spans spells in consulting and academia, where he has held positions at the University of Cambridge and the London School of Economics’ Grantham Research Institute. He is a leading expert on the economics of resilience, disaster risk management and disaster risk finance, and has published research on decision making under “deep” uncertainty and insurance markets. Oliver has a DPhil in Economics and a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. He is co-author of The Rough Guide to Economics, which was published by Penguin in 2014.

Swenja Surminski is Head of Adaptation Research at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, part of the London School of Economics and Political Science, overseeing social science research projects on climate adaptation, Loss and Damage of climate change, and disaster risk finance with a geographic scope ranging from the UK  to developing countries. Swenja’s research is investigating climate risk management and resilience strategies focusing on public policies, financial instruments and  individual behaviour through a mix of inter-disciplinary approaches, integrating concepts from geography, climate science, economics and governance studies. Prior to joining LSE in 2010 Swenja spent more than ten years in the insurance industry working on climate and risks management, including roles at Munich Re, Marsh Mc Lennon and the Association of British Insurers.

Karina Rodriguez-Villafuerte is the Maryam Forum Student Leader of the Climate and the Oceans Co-Lab. Karina is a second-year Master of Public Administration student at LSE. Originally from Peru, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Universidad del Pacífico. Worked at several institutions within the Peruvian government, such as the Ministry of Transports and Communications, the Authority for Reconstruction and, most recently, the Ministry of Economics and Finance, where she was part of the team that published Peru’s first National Infrastructure Plan. Karina has also worked as an external consultant for the World Bank, conducting research on competition policies in Latin America.

This session is part of the LSE Conference on “One Year On: Lessons Learnt and ‘New Normals’ in a Post-COVID World “hosted  under the LSE Maryam Forum. Click here to view all conference sessions.

The LSE Maryam Forum is a multi-year programme aimed at accelerating the kind of leadership the world needs urgently. A product of the LSE Institute of Global Affairs (IGA) and the School of Public Policy (SPP), it has been conceived as a collaboration between policy makers, students, academic researchers, business leaders and media. Driven by deep engagement with faculty and students, the Maryam Forum builds on LSE and IGA’s strong track record in research, policy engagement and capacity building. 

The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA) at the LSE School of Public Policy aims to maximise the impact of LSE's leading expertise across the social sciences by shaping inclusive and locally-rooted responses to the most important and pressing global challenges.

The School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) (@cepr_org) is a network of over 1500 Research Fellows and Affiliates, based primarily in European universities. The Centre coordinates the research activities of its Fellows and Affiliates and communicates the results to the public and private sectors. CEPR is an entrepreneur, developing research initiatives with the producers, consumers and sponsors of research. Established in 1983, CEPR is a European economics research organisation with uniquely wide-ranging scope and activities. The Centre is pluralist and non-partisan, bringing economic research to bear on the analysis of medium- and long-run policy questions.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMaryamForum

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