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The 2019 IPCC Special Report on Global warming of 1.5 Degrees.

Science has been addressing climate change for many decades.

The place to start is the work of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC). This is the UN body that assesses the science related to climate change. Through its assessments, the IPCC determines the state of knowledge on climate change. It identifies where there is agreement in the scientific community on topics related to climate change, and where further research is needed. The IPCC does not conduct its own research. IPCC reports are neutral, policy-relevant but not policy- prescriptive. Created in 1988, the IPCC has 195 member countries.

Although the Paris Agreement wording is “keeping the global temperature rise this century to well below 2 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees celsius”, growing concern about the damage inflicted by a 2 degree rise led to the IPCC publishing a Special Report on Global warming of 1.5 Degrees in 2019.

Physical risks from climate change arise from a number of factors and relate to specific weather events (such as heatwaves, floods, wildfires and storms) and longer-term shifts in the climate (such as changes in precipitation, extreme weather variability, sea level rise and rising mean temperatures).

Transition risks arise from the process of adjustment towards the low carbon economy, such as climate-related developments in policy/regulation, the emergence of disruptive technology and business models, shifting societal preferences and evolving evidence and legal interpretations.

Liability risks arise from parties who have suffered loss or damage from the crystallisation of physical or transition risks seeking to recover those losses from those they hold responsible.

IPCC reports are also one place to learn more about important climate change terminology from the Paris Agreement. ‘Mitigation’ is (human) intervention to reduce emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases, eg renewable energy or afforestation. ‘Adaptation’ is the process of adjustment (including human intervention) to actual or expected climate and its effects, eg flood defences. These activities, whatever their motivation, impact future climate change risks. ‘Loss and damage’ is the term given to the residual unavoidable harm caused by climate change, linked to liability risk.

Energy lies at the heart of many climate issues. The International Energy Agency (IEA) was created in 1974 to help co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil. While oil security remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved since its foundation. Founded in 2009, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy.

While this guide focuses on finance and risk, and does not seek to cover developments across the non-financial economy, Deep decarbonization examines green hydrogen in the context of net zero greenhouse gas emissions and the future of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.

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Events calendar

  • CILA 2022

    23 May 2022 - 24 May 2022

    Spaces available

    We continue to live in a world of global uncertainty. Survival depends on our ability to simultaneously navigate through the diverse root-causes, ranging from: the consequences of Climate Change; transitioning to Net Zero; increased inflationary pressures and supply chain issues; to self-imposed changes in regulatory requirements. CILA 2022 focuses on these challenges to ensure we continue to be informed and remain battle ready, as well as showcasing highlights of recent CMI outputs.

  • Spaces available

    In the spirit of fostering the IFoA’s vibrant, global community and enabling our members to participate, we have decided to hold our AGM virtually again this year. This allows for greater accessibility to this important annual event, and for greater accountability of our organisation.

    The Business of the AGM

  • The IFoA Conference 2022

    133 Houndsditch, London EC3A 7BX and Online
    22 June 2022 - 23 June 2022
    Spaces available

    We’re delighted to welcome you back to our first in-person conference since early 2020, also being delivered virtually in our first-ever hybrid event. The theme of our inaugural two-day conference is ‘Focusing on tomorrow’s actuary’ and will explore the contribution actuarial science is making to some of tomorrow’s biggest issues.


  • Spaces available

    This webinar will cover:

    • Some background on the risks of misselling in an ESG context, including the DWS case

    • Achieving positive impact is a strong antidote to the risks of greenwashing or ESG misselling, however this risks having a tension with fiduciary responsibilities

    • This tension can be resolved with a concept called Universal Ownership

    • Under Universal ownership, investors have an appetite to make a loss in order to achieve positive impact, and yet still have no compromise on their fiduciary responsibilities

  • Spaces available

    This session will focus on the transformation roadmap of the healthcare sector in KSA and the role of actuarial capabilities in enhancing its evolution to the desired end stage as per the objectives of the Vision 2030. The discussion will focus how the system has evolved so far and shed light on  the expected future changes. Through examining  the transformation, we will highlight how the sector is and can use actuarial  expertise to not only assist with this transformation but also use basic actuarial principles to identify the key risks and their respective mitigation strategies.