simon zadek

UNSG Climate Summit: Celebration or Warning? (edited)

UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, will host a unique leadership event in New York on 23 September, bringing together more than 100 heads of state, along with chief executives, city mayors, and civil society and labour leaders, to spur renewed efforts on climate change.The Summit aims to underscore the message that acting on climate can advance the direct interests of nations, businesses and communities.…

Green or Greenspan

When forced to explain why so few anticipated the global financial crisis, former US Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan blamed in his Foreign Affairs article “Never Saw it Coming“, animal spirits, investors’ herding behavior, unimaginably large tail risks, and black swan events. When it comes time for global leaders to defend their decades of inaction on climate change, which is set to trigger an environmental and economic crisis on an unprecedented scale, their defense may well look a lot like Greenspan’s.…

Oil Assets @ Risk

Carbon Tracker Initiative`s new report, ‘Carbon supply cost curves: Evaluating financial risk to oil capital expenditures’, today reveals how many oil projects make neither economic nor climate sense. The risk analysis identifies that many higher cost oil projects are too far up the cost curve to fit within low demand, low price scenarios that would also limit oil-related emissions to within a carbon budget.…

Inquiry`s 100 Day Milestone

The 5th May is not only the anniversaries of when Kublai Khan became Emperor of the Mongol Empire in 1260 and when Napoleon died in exile on St Helena in 1821, but is the 100 day milestone of UNEP`s Inquiry into design options for a sustainable financial system.

Launched at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2014, the Inquiry aims to identify policies and practices that can better align the financial system with the long term health of the real economy, supporting its shift to become more green and inclusive.…

Yes, We CAN Afford Sustainable Development (video of lecture)

From design to delivery to those who want to “watch the video”, below is the whole two hour Kapuschinski Development Lecture, with the intros, my lecture (minute 14.50 to 56.00), the response from UNDP`s Yannick Glamarec, to the extended discussion with folks in the room and through responses to a flow of twittered questions.



Video streaming by Ustream

Attached is the text of my speech for those who prefer a more peaceful read.…

Kapuscinski Development Lecture

Thanks to many folks who made suggestions as to what i should say in tomorrow`s Kapuscinski Development Lecture in Helsinki on the topic of “can we afford sustainable development”.

Particular thanks to Sean Kidney who leads the Climate Bonds Initiative, Ian Christie, Yannick Glamarec (from UNDP who will be my respondent here tomorrow), Inquiry colleagues – Nick Robins and Mahenau Agha, and Mira Merme, who has more than anyone encouraged me to focus on financial markets.…

Can We Afford Sustainable Development?

Here I am again seeking advise. On the 26th February in Helsinki, I will deliver the Kapuschinski Development Lecture on the topic “can we afford sustainable development“. The question of course is what I should focus on in the lecture?

Some background. This will be my first speaking role as Co-Director of the UNEP Inquiry on the Design of a Sustainable Financial System, so obviously i need to spend some time on the financial policy and regulatory side.…

LAUNCHED: Ground-breaking Inquiry to promote a sustainable financial system

Today, the 23rd January, is a red letter day, as a ground-breaking Inquiry has been launched to identify, develop and promote ways to green financial markets. The Inquiry has been established by UNEP, building on its work on the green economy and the UNEP Finance Initiative.

The Inquiry into the Design of a Sustainable Financial System will run over two years, engaging with central bankers, financial regulators, financial institution executives and others, drawing on best practice, commissioning and collaborating in research, and promoting dialogue at the national and international levels.…

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