Climate services research holds the key to building investor confidence in adaptation

Sally Stevens

Institute for Environmental Analytics

16 May, 2019

Climate services research is the hot topic trending among financial circles eagerly looking for the tipping point for investment in adaptation methods and products.

JPI Climate, which co-ordinates and sets the benchmark for high quality national and transnational research programmes across Europe, is at the forefront of innovation in climate change adaptation and is hosting an important side-event at ECCA.

Climate services side event

The afternoon session Climate services: state of affairs, relevance for users and the way forward will expand on the role of climate services research in inspiring confidence in financial investment in adaptation methods and products. It will bring together leading figures in investment, the European Commission, current projects funded by programmes ERA4CS (European Research Area for Climate Services) and Horizon2020, and climate services experts from across Europe.

Green finance has been gathering pace globally with major financial institutions and governments racing to improve their skills and credentials in climate risk and sustainability, making very public efforts to move on from regarding financial investments as purely to generate profit regardless of any environmental cost.

Green transport, reliable renewable energy, improved weather forecasting systems, data analytics platforms alerting us to drought and flooding risks, early warning for weather hazards, climate modelling to make strategic decisions for water supplies and agriculture – all have the potential to inform better decision-making.

Putting users at the heart of our research

ERA4CS and H2020 climate services put stakeholders and users at the heart of their projects, prioritising co-development opportunities and practical workshops throughout the lifetime of the projects. However, despite the enthusiasm of the reactions to their work, one of the most commonly identified obstacles preventing the take-up of climate services adaptation and mitigation research is lack of financial investment and strategic prioritisation.

Ben Smith, Director, Consulting Services at Global Climate Adaptation Partnership and co-founder of UK climate services networking group Mesh, says: “The finance sector can play a critical role in the transition to a resilient, low carbon economy, but good information is needed in order for investors to make climate-informed decisions. The provision of credible, user-friendly climate services plays a key role in giving investors the confidence they need to act on climate change.”

The next move must be to push climate change risk, adaptation and mitigation up to the top of the agenda in every boardroom – no matter how big or small the organisation.

With the background of climate change civic protests, students demanding it be put on their curriculum, declarations of ‘climate emergencies’ we have a valuable window of opportunity to match the robust, relevant and credible knowledge coming out of climate services research with well-communicated robust, relevant and credible evidence being placed firmly on the desks of leaders in the global finance sector and on the desks of chief financial officers and chief executives, to take the risk out of investing in our climate resilient future.

Find out more at the JPI Climate side event and on our stand

Join the discussion at our side event and visit JPI Climate’s ECCA stand (on floor 2 of the central foyer) where we will be available for face-to-face conversations with any delegates keen to know more about how our climates services research can support decision-making.