Risk in context podcast: COP26’s key takeaways and what they mean for businesses

This episode of Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast features Victor’s Yvonne Castillo and Amy Barnes from Marsh on key takeaways from COP26 and their implications for organizations and risk management.

Planet earth with trees

In November, government and private sector leaders from around the world gathered in Glasgow, for the 26th UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), to discuss the continued actions that are needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.

While much of the media hype around the conference may have subsided for the moment, the efforts of government and business leaders continue. In fact 2022 looks like it will be busier than ever as climate reporting and ESG considerations more broadly, become front of mind for risk advisors, CEOs and company directors. In fact, action is already ramping up here in the Pacific.

New Zealand recently became the first country in the world to pass legislation to make climate risk reporting mandatory for banks, assets managers and insurers. And while the Australian Government did cop some bad press during COP26, there has actually been more progress than some may think. 

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has endorsed the use of the Task Force for Climate and Financial Disclosure (TCFD) framework and it has just released its final prudential practice guide on climate change financial risks (CPG 229). The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) has also issued climate change risk guidance for company directors and has supported the use of TCFD reporting framework for those companies that face a material risk from climate change. In this episode of Marsh’s Risk in Context podcast, Victor’s Yvonne Castillo and Amy Barnes, Head of Climate and Sustainability at Marsh, discuss the key takeaways from COP 26 and their implications for organisations and risk management – no matter where you are in the world.

Who is this for? CEOs, Company Directors, Risk Managers

How long: 27 mins
Topics discussed:

  • What is COP all about?  A quick refresher
  • Sourcing efficient, clean energy and transitioning to new technologies.
  • What we can learn from US clean energy policy & market trends.
  • The building industry and the imperative for sustainable ‘re-fits’
  • What companies need to be thinking about in their business models or operations.
  • Climate reporting: ‘first order’ (physical) risks, ‘second order’ (supply chain) risks and ‘third order’ (transition) risks.
  • The ‘virtuous circle’ of green finance, regulation and investment.
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Key takeaways

Some developments during COP26 are reason for optimism about collective efforts to stem climate change’s effects.

Many countries made ambitious commitments to limit temperature increases in the coming years, and there were signs that the public and private sectors will work more closely together going forward.

A key area of focus for regulators globally in the future will be on constructing better and more climate-resilient buildings.

Energy standards for existing buildings will need to be reexamined, and some structures will need to be retrofit. And as the built environment doubles over the next half-century, new buildings will need to be cost- and energy-efficient.

Governments attending COP26 sent a clear signal to businesses that they must take climate change and climate resilience seriously.

Scenario planning, risk anticipation, and other advanced techniques will be critical to withstanding increasingly severe weather events and other disruptions from climate change.

About our speakers

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Amy Barnes

Head of Climate and Sustainability Strategy

Prior to this Amy held a number of leadership roles with Marsh’s global energy, power, and renewables business. Amy has a respected depth and breadth of experience assisting some of the largest and most complex companies manage risks. This experience enables her to have a deep understanding of a wide range of clients’ risk management approaches. She joined Marsh as an environmental insurance broker and has 20 years of relevant industry experience with Marsh.

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Yvonne Castillo

Director of Risk Management, Victor US

Yvonne Castillo is the Director of Risk Management for Victor, where she manages a team of risk managers who support insured firms in managing professional liability risks in the US. She has 27 years of experience as an attorney, and has worked directly in the design and construction industry for almost two decades.

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