Solutions for a Greener Future: COP26 Digital Events Series

Wednesday 03 November 2021


1pm - 2pm




About the event

Join the University of Exeter in marking COP26 with a programme of digital events. Click here to register


About this event

One of the ways we communicate, educate and build communities committed to tackling the environment and climate emergency is through events.

During the week of COP26 in Glasgow, the University of Exeter is hosting a programme of digital events. Register your place now as we develop knowledge, skills and solutions for a green future. Full details of the events and more information on the University of Exeter's world leading research on creating solutions for a green future can be found here.


GREEN IS GOOD: How the financial sector can secure net zero

Date: Wednesday 3 November

Timings: 13:00 - 14:00 GMT

Event details:

On the day finance is on the agenda at COP26, join us for a discussion about the role of the finance sector in the fight against climate change.

We’ll be looking at how we can achieve the COP26 Goal 3 of mobilising at least $100bn in climate finance per year, and unleashing trillions in private and public sector finance in order to secure global net zero.

Our expert panel will discuss ways we can finance initiatives, how we encourage investment in a green future and how economic growth and environmental action can work hand in hand, plus much, much more.

Our chair

Professor Gail Whiteman is Professor of Sustainable Business at the University of Exeter Business School. Gail is also the Professor-in-Residence at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and was actively involved in building science-based targets including those for a future low-carbon economy. She created Arctic Basecamp, a science solutions communication platform with a mission to “speak science to power” to encourage bold climate action. This unique project has hosted high-level events at the World Economic Forum in Davos and is on the ground at COP26.?

Our guests

Professor Ben Groom is the Dragon Capital Chair?in Biodiversity Economics at the University of Exeter Business School. He is an environmental and resource economist working on the economics of biodiversity, ecosystem services and intergenerational fairness. His current interests are in how the financial sector can be augmented to take into account the impact on biodiversity. He is an observer on the?Task Force for Nature-related?Financial Disclosures (TNFD) and a founding member of the Treasury Green Book Biodiversity Working Group. Ben is also a visiting professor at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics.?

Eoin Murray is Head of Investment, International and a member of the Executive Committee at Federated Hermes. He also leads the Investment Office, which is responsible to clients for the investment teams’ consistent delivery of responsible, risk-adjusted performance and adherence to the processes which earned them their ‘kitemarks’.?Eoin joined the international business of Federated Hermes in January 2015 with almost 30 years’ investment experience. Eoin joined from GSA Capital Partners, where he was a fund manager. Before this, he was Chief Investment Officer at Old Mutual from 2004 to 2008 and also held senior positions at ?Callanish?Capital Partners LLP and Northern Trust Global Investments. He began his career as a?graduate trainee at Manufacturers Hanover Trust (now JPMorgan Chase) and subsequently performed senior portfolio manager roles at Wells Fargo Nikko Investment Advisors (now BlackRock),?PanAgora?Asset Management and First Quadrant. Eoin is a Freeman of the City of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, Master of the Guild of Investment Managers, and a Fellow of the RSA.?He is a member of the Exmoor Search and Rescue team, a fully qualified Swift-water Rescue Instructor, a Powerboat Rescue Operator and a Flood Water Incident Manager.??

Chantalle Thomson is Green Finance Manager at the Carbon Trust. Chantalle works in the Carbon Trust’s Green Finance team and leads on sustainable infrastructure, helping financial institutions ensure that green finance delivers genuinely green outcomes by advising on product frameworks, assessing climate change-related risks and opportunities around portfolios, and quantifying environmental impacts. Chantalle has over five years’ experience in the low carbon sector, much of it focused on infrastructure. She has developed socio-economic impact assessment methodologies for infrastructure projects, notably using cost-benefit analysis and multi-criteria analysis to assess district heating developments. Her expertise also extends into financial modelling for district heating projects, leveraging her skills in project finance. Through working to convene funders and financers of mini-grids in sub-Saharan Africa, Chantalle gained experience in emerging market infrastructure. Chantalle has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Exeter.

Jon Dennis is Senior Sustainable Finance and Corporate Risk Specialist at WWF-UK. His role is to provide knowledge, expertise and thought leadership on issues related to sustainable finance practices and policies, focusing predominantly on climate change but also extending to wider environmental themes. For nearly ten years, the WWF-UK Sustainable Finance team has been actively engaging with governments, international organisations, civil society and the finance sector to advocate for sustainable finance policy reform and develop the tools and standards to safeguard a sustainable environment. Prior to joining WWF-UK Jon held positions with Schroder’s investment managers and the E3G Think Tank, where he was a core member of the co-secretariat that successfully delivered the Green Finance Taskforce (GFT) report to UK government.

Peter Kanning is Global Head of Sustainable Finance Strategy & Implementation for HSBC.? Peter joined HSBC in 2006 and has held various roles in New York and London related to cross-business and geography collaboration, business transformation and strategy development. In his current role, Peter leads strategic development of HSBC’s sustainable financing and investments capabilities across business lines, working in close collaboration with executive management and client facing teams globally. He is responsible for implementation of the Group’s strategy to align its business to net zero outcomes by 2050 and commitment to provide between USD750 billion and USD1 trillion in sustainable finance by 2030. Peter supports learning and communication activities to strengthen internal knowledge and engagement on climate change and market developments, drawing from participation in industry initiatives such as the World Economic Forum, Energy Transitions Commission and Cambridge University’s Banking Environment Initiative. Peter holds a Master of Science in Foreign Service degree from Georgetown University.



Date: Thursday 4 November

Timings: 13:00 - 14:00 GMT

Event details:

Net zero.

It’s a phrase you will have heard a lot, and a goal that is crucial in the fight against climate change.

Net zero is not zero emissions. Net zero is the point at which the amount of greenhouse gas produced is equal to the amount removed from the atmosphere. At this moment, the continued warming of the planet will stop.

Goal 1 of COP26 is to ‘Secure global net zero by mid-century and keep 1.5 degrees within reach’. Achieving this will require a significant reduction in emissions as well as the restoration of eco-systems which remove carbon from the atmosphere. Some policies may also assume very large removal of carbon via speculative negative emissions technologies.

But how do we get there by 2050 and what are the steps along the way?

Join us as we talk to experts from science and industry about some of the ways we can achieve net zero. We’ll talk about the switch from fossil fuels to renewables, how we can improve access to clean energy, how we can curtail deforestation and increase carbon capture. And we’ll consider some of the positive tipping points that can propel rapid decarbonisation and regenerate ecosystems.

Our host

Dr James Dyke is Assistant Director of the Global Systems Institute at the University of Exeter,?Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the European Geosciences Union, and serves on the editorial board of the journal Earth System Dynamics. He writes a regular environmental column for UK newspaper i, and has also written for a wide range of international publications that includes The Ecologist, The Guardian, The Independent and The Conversation. His book?Fire Storm and Flood: the violence of climate change?was published in 2021 by Bloomsbury imprint Head of Zeus. James is regular contributor to UK and international media that includes BBC radio and TV.

Our guests

Professor Tim Lenton is the Director of the Global Systems Institute and Chair in Climate Change and Earth System Science at the University of Exeter. Tim’s research focuses on understanding the behaviour of the Earth as a whole system, the complex web of biological, geochemical and physical processes that shape the chemical composition of the atmosphere and oceans, as well as the climate of the Earth. His award-winning work identifying Tipping Points in the climate system has led him to examine Positive Tipping Points within our social systems which could help accelerate progress towards a sustainable future. He is a member of the Earth Commission and is a Clarivate Web of Science Highly Cited Researcher. In 2021 Tim has twice been cited in lists of the world’s most influential climate scientists.

James Lewis is Vice-President of Conservation at the Rainforest Trust. Hooked on wildlife conservation when growing up in Africa, James has spent his career focusing on strategic approaches to addressing conservation challenges. Born in the U.K. but raised on three continents, James has first-hand experience in various conservation areas. Although originally a field ecologist, James has spent time working on many domestic and international conservation topics, trade/policy issues, development of on the ground conservation projects, and national conservation responses. During James' time at Rainforest Trust, the organisation has grown from providing approximately U.S. $4 million in grants per year to over U.S. $50 million. These funds have helped with the establishment of 203 protected areas across 53 countries. As Vice President of Conservation at Rainforest Trust, James is driving the implementation of a new strategy to allocate $500 million to permanently protecting critical habitats across the tropics for species, communities, and our planet. Before joining Rainforest Trust, James worked as the operations director for the Amphibian Survival Alliance, helping to build the world's largest partnership dedicated to amphibian conservation. James has also worked for several other International NGOs, including the Wildlife Conservation Society, Conservation International, and Re: Wild. James has a Masters in Conservation and Biodiversity from the University of Exeter.

Priyanka Shendage?is a?Project Coordinator with energy and environmental consulting firm MP Ensystems in India. Her main areas of interest include renewable energy, policy advocacy, and livelihood improvement and she is currently working on projects related to agricultural livelihood development, decarbonisation and sustainability. Prior to joining MP Ensystems, Priyanka spent time with the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) researching on cooperatives as an opportunity to enhance farmer livelihoods and earlier this year also completed a research project on Climate Justice with the?Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) and University of East Anglia (UEA). Priyanka has a Masters in Sustainable Development from the University of Exeter.

Dr Richard Lowes is a Senior Associate at the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP). He has more than 10 years’ heat policy experience in industry, academia and working with policymakers. Richard has worked for UK energy company SSE before moving on to gas transporter SGN, where he led the company’s work on policy and public affairs. Since 2019, he has also been a non-executive director of the Scottish government’s heat decarbonisation programme board. He has provided oral evidence to multiple UK parliamentary select committees, was an expert advisor to the National Audit Office inquiry into Great Britain’s Renewable Heat Incentive, and was an advocate for sustainable heating at the 2020 Climate Assembly UK. In addition he remains a research fellow at the University of Exeter. Richard has a BSc in Geography and Environmental Management, a Masters in Energy Policy and Sustainability, and a PhD in Energy Policy all from the University of Exeter.

Dr Anna Harper is a Researcher and Senior Lecturer in Climate Science at the University of Exeter. Her research focuses on interactions between vegetation, climate, and humans, to improve understanding of the processes that govern how plants respond to climate extremes and trends in climate change; the impacts of climate and human land use on ecosystems; and the feasibility of land-based mitigation pathways (such as re-growing forests or bioenergy crops). Some of Anna’s current research investigates the potential for negative emissions of CO2 using BECCS (Bio Energy Carbon Capture Storage) and natural ecosystem-based methods, and the impacts on food, energy, water, and natural ecosystems. Her work with the land surface model?JULES (Joint UK Land Environment Simulator)?has contributed to the?Global Carbon Project - an organisation that seeks to quantify global greenhouse gas emissions and their causes.

Jon O’Sullivan is ?Director of Onshore Wind and Solar at EDF Renewables UK & Ireland,?part of one of the world’s largest electricity companies. Jon leads the development team for all onshore?wind and solar projects in the UK - both grid-scale and industrial and commercial. Jon has a wide variety of experience across all aspects of development, construction and operations of renewables. Prior to joining EDF Renewables he was Director of Onshore Wind Generation at Vattenfall UK and also spent many years with BP Alternative Energy focusing on both solar energy and biofuels. Jon has both a BSc in Psychology and a MBA from the University of Exeter.



Date: Monday 8 November

Timings: 13:00 - 14:00 GMT

Event details:

The climate is already changing and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions. Goal 2 of COP26 focuses on how we can adapt to protect communities and natural habitats.

Join us as we talk to a series of experts about how we can mitigate against some of the effects of climate change. Through building defences and warning systems, supporting resilient infrastructure and agriculture, protecting and restoring ecosystems, and supporting communities already impacted by the climate crisis.

Our host

Tom Freyberg is an award-winning environmental?journalist who has had articles and comments published in The Times, The Guardian, CNN, the Grocer?magazine and a Swedish institute publication, WaterFront. After spending five years working on renewable energy, recycling and waste titles, he then moved into the international water market as chief editor of Water & Wastewater International (WWi) magazine. During this time he covered high profile interviews, including Singapore Environment Minister, Vivian Balakrishnan and Robert F. Kennedy Jnr, as well as multiple CEOs. In the summer of 2018, he launched Atlantean Media, a global digital content creation company serving the environmental engineering industries, specifically water. Tom also represents Aquatech Global Events as content director and serves as the content strategist for 2020 feature-length documentary, Brave Blue World, featuring Matt Damon and Jaden Smith. Tom has a degree in English from the University of Exeter.

Back-up Patrick Devine-Wright?

Our guests

Dr Ricardo Safra de Campos is a Lecturer in Human Geography at the University of Exeter. He is a population geographer working on the spatial mobility dimensions of human interaction with environmental change, with a focus on migration, sustainability and subjective wellbeing. He has collaborated with leading social, environmental and economic scientists across several competitively funded international research projects. His work has been published in interdisciplinary journals including Nature Climate Change, Global Environmental Change, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, and discipline-specific such as Population, Space and Place. He is a contributing author on Chapter 4: Sea Level Rise and Implications for Low-Lying Islands, Coasts and Communities of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. Ricardo gave expert oral evidence on migration and climate change to EU Home Affairs Sub-Committee of the UK’s House of Lords in 2020. He serves on the advisory board of international research and policy initiatives on climate-related displacement in Africa (Shaping the Future of Mobility in Africa, under the auspices of UNDP and the World Bank) and Asia (Bangladesh’s Action Plan for the implementation of National Strategy on Internal Displacement). Ricardo is on the editorial board for the journals Climatic Change, Springer; and PLOSClimate, PLOS. He is also a member of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) Steering Group at the University of Exeter.

Dr Tara Quinn is an environmental researcher and social scientist at Maynooth University in the Republic of Ireland. Tara works predominantly on issues of health, wellbeing, risk perception and senses of place in the context of environmental change. She is currently working with Professor Conor Murphy on the five year Assessment Report on Climate Change in Ireland (5YAR), collaborating on??the third volume on adaptation and impacts. She also works for the University of Exeter on a Wellcome Trust funded project on?the health and wellbeing impacts of climate change adaptation. This project explores how populations respond to the implementation?of infrastructure, catchment management and forced relocation as a response to climate risk and works in sites?in Ireland, England and Ghana. Tara is co-leading an international webinar series with Exeter’s Professor Patrick Devine-Wright and Vanessa Masterson from the Stockholm Resilience Centre for the year 2021-22 on ‘21st?century transitions and senses of place’.

Jo Emberson-Wines is a Flood Defence Project Manager at the Environment Agency.

Alex Roberts is Group Sustainability Manager at Vistry Group, one of the largest housebuilders in the UK. Vistry Group is funding research at the University of Exeter to explore the impact of climate change on homes and housebuilding in the future. The results will influence the way future houses are built, the materials used, and how they are powered. Alex has a background in sustainable construction having previously worked for Willmott Dixon and Aster Group, as well as spending time with Natural England and the Environment Agency. He also holds a position on the committee of Generation for Change (G4C) within Constructing Excellence South West and sits on the SW steering group for the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) which is the professional body for environmental and sustainability professionals.

Rendani Nenguda is a Research Associate at Oppenheimer Generations in South Africa.

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