11 October 2019
The Department of Economics and the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance successfully convened the first SOAS Summer School on “Sustainable Finance and Climate Change”. The summer school was attended by 22 university students and finance professionals from Europe, Africa, Asia and North America, all of whom shared a keen interest in learning more about a cutting-edge area of finance that has become a key topic for financial institutions and financial authorities around the world.
Taught jointly by Dr Harald Heubaum (Deputy Director of the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance), Felicia Jackson (Chief Executive of SUFINDA C.I.C.), Dr Jakob Thomä (Managing Director at 2° Investing Initiative) and Dr Ulrich Volz (Director of the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance), the summer course introduced students to the role of finance in the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon economy.
The course covered a broad range of topics that enable students to understand and apply key concepts in climate and sustainable finance, including the role of climate and other environmental risks in creating potential financial risks in banking and capital markets, and the role of financial actors in driving a global transition and aligning capital markets with climate and sustainability goals. Visiting lectures by were delivered by Prashant Vaze (Head of Policy and Government at the Climate Bonds Initiative), Nick Silver (Managing Director of Callund Consulting Limited) and Naasir Roomanay (ESG Analyst at Investec Asset Management).
The summer school also comprised excursions to the City of London, with visits to the Bank of England and Aviva Investors. At the Bank of England, students learned about the Prudential Regulation Authority’s approach to addressing climate risk in the financial system and the Bank’s work as a founding member of the Network of Central Banks and Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. At Aviva Investors, students got an insight into the efforts of a large asset management company to integrate climate and sustainability risk in its operations and implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures. The summer school concluded with an exchange with various London-based NGOs – including the Carbon Tracker Initiative, the European Climate Foundation, CarbonBrief, the Climate Bonds Initiative, ShareAction, and the 2° Investing Initiative – on the main challenges in aligning the financial system with sustainability.