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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


CISL is organising a series of events to mobilise concrete action and to leverage and scale up best practice around the world for a net zero economy. Here are the events we are hosting at venues in the centre of Glasgow during COP26. 

For details of all events CISL is delivering during COP26, including those within the COP26 venue, please see our full programme here:


UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero: Showcasing UK business action towards meeting the UK’s net zero by 2050 target 

8am – 9.30am, Tuesday 2nd November (8am – 9.30am), The Spiritualist, Glasgow 

The UK Business Group Alliance for Net Zero (BGA) is a network of leading business groups working to increase political and business ambition with the aim of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in the UK. In the lead up to COP26, CLG UK, who coordinate the BGA, has worked with other members of the BGA to promote and increase sign up to Race to Zero, primarily through directing businesses to sign up to the SBTi Business Ambition for 1.5 campaign and SME Climate Commitment.  

This networking breakfast event session will look to provide an opportunity to both highlight examples of where businesses and business groups in the UK are taking action that supports the UK in meeting its net zero by 2050 target, and enable informal sharing of practice and lessons learnt.  


CSF event: Risk Sharing in the Climate Emergency​: A call to action for insurers, regulators and governments​

12noon, Wednesday 3rd November, Glasgow City Chambers​

ClimateWise and the Association of British Insurers are pleased to bring together senior representatives from insurance, regulators and governments to discuss the parts each must play as we step up to this global challenge.​ We bring to COP26 actionable recommendations for policymakers, private and public financial authorities and the insurance sector. We provide a pathway to:​

  • Quantify, manage and reduce climate risks immediately.​
  • Further integrate climate policy and regulation to ensure finance helps deliver a resilient, net zero, just transition for all, in emerging and developed economies.​

Launch of a call to action in the new report “Risk sharing in the climate emergency: financial regulation for a resilient, net zero, just transition”. 


CISL: What now? What next? From ambition to action 

9.30am – 11am, Friday 5th November, Merchant’s Hall, Glasgow 

COP26 seeks to deliver measurable progress on mitigation, adaptation, and finance. Alongside this, non-state actors - including business and financial institutions - are being asked to join the Race to Zero and set their own long-term net zero targets and ambitious 2030 targets. Collaboration between governments, financial institutions and corporates will be key to delivering the transformations required.  

Bringing together perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders this event will examine where we have got to now and what needs to happen beyond COP26 – not just to put us on track to halve global emissions by 2030, but also to help economies globally to build forward better following the pandemic, protect communities and nature, and build resilience to climate change.   

The discussion will inform a Spring 2022 ‘Ambition to action’ event which will bring together an even wider group of stakeholders to explore the key next steps identified and consider in greater depth the practical actions that need to be taken to put us globally on track to halve emissions by 2030.   

Watch the live streamed event here


CLG Europe: Building a case for green economic and political cooperation in a net zero world 

4pm – 5pm, Saturday 6th November, EU Pavilion, COP26 Blue Zone & Virtual

The Green Deal sets an agenda to transform the EU’s economy in line with the climate neutrality objective by 2050. This economic transformation will affect its international partners and create new opportunities for cooperation in areas like the clean energy transition, clean technologies and sustainable industry with new initiatives in line with the Green Deal’s objectives such as Green Alliances with the US and Japan and a renewed trade strategy. 

This event will bring together policymakers and businesses to discuss new opportunities for political and business collaboration stemming from recent EU policy including the Green Deal. How can the Green Deal and international initiatives lead to cooperation and the scale up climate ambition and the development of clean energy, technologies and industry? 


CISL/University of Exeter EEIST roundtable: The New ​Economics of Energy Innovation and Systems Transition: ​Embracing Complexity to Make Better Decisions

1.30pm – 2.30pm, Tuesday 9th November, Merchants House Glasgow​

Climate change related decision-making involves the potential for structural change in the economy; yet the tools we use to make investment decisions are designed to deliver marginal gains to the existing system. The future is uncertain; therefore, analysis rooted in present assumptions will very likely mislead. The key to low carbon innovation does not lie in appraisal that seeks to guess the future based on the confines of present knowledge; it requires bold and intelligent assessment of how to maximise opportunities whilst minimising risks.  ​

World leading experts in complexity economics, systems thinking, and energy policy will introduce a new conceptual model for policy and investment decision making. The Risk-Opportunity Analysis’ (ROA) framework will be introduced in the newly launched flagship report "The New Economics of Innovation and Transitions". ​

Hosted by the Economics of Energy Innovation and System Transition (EEIST) programme, a 3-year Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and CIFF funded initiative which brings together experts in China, Brazil, India, the UK and EU to develop innovative systems modelling approaches to live policy decisions. This ground-breaking project has the potential to transform how governments across the world make climate policy decisions for years to come.​


CLG UK: UK business and policy leadership for climate resilience roundtable 

4pm – 5.30pm, Tuesday 9th November, Merchants House, Glasgow 

CLG UK is planning to publish a policy briefing focusing on adaptation and resilience. The briefing, to be published on the second week of COP26, will highlight how leading UK businesses are already increasing resilience and adaptation to climate change. It will explore the role and interaction of business and policy and the importance of taking a place-based approach in building climate resilience in the context of delivering the UK’s 2050 net zero target. It will seek to identify and showcase opportunities and the potential for adaptive approaches that not only enhance resilience, but also deliver wider economic, social and environmental benefits. The publication will also highlight how policy can be used to support positive action in the race to resilience and will feature business case studies. 

This roundtable will explore the recommendations from the report with key stakeholders who are present in Glasgow.    


Accelerating industrial decarbonisation: Driving demand for climate neutral materials and products

10am – 11.00am, Tuesday 9 November, WMB Pavilion, Hall 5, COP26 Blue Zone

Achieving a climate neutral, circular and competitive economy requires policy innovation that is cross-sectoral and cross-value chain to accelerate the development of climate neutral materials and manufacturing processes
Hear from major businesses about the key policies they see working across sectors and value chains, as well as the challenges and opportunities linked to industrial decarbonisation. The event will showcase international action being driven by global alliances and the international implications of policy developments in the EU, which is being keenly watched by major competitors and importers as one of the first movers in this space.


CLGs Corporate Leaders Network dinner: Catalysing business advocacy globally on a national level 

6.30pm – 9pmish, Tuesday 9th November, Merchants House, Glasgow  

Since 2010, the Corporate Leaders Groups have developed relationships with a number of business groups around the world. These groups have seen the need for co-ordination across the economy, both to ensure potential risks are managed, and to allow business to grasp the opportunities that this transition to a low carbon society could hold. The CLGs are now exploring the creation of further groups and linking these business networks to support and catalyse business advocacy for ambitious climate policies in more countries globally.  

This dinner will seek to informally explore the opportunities for catalysing new corporate leaders' groups in other countries globally through networking and the sharing of best practice. 


University of Cambridge’s Aviation Impact Accelerator event: Accelerating Aviation to Climate Neutrality 

3pm-3.30pm, 10th November,  The Action Hub, SSE Hydro Building, Hall 4, Blue Zone, Scottish Event Campus

The Climate Action Hub is a dynamic events-space, where non-Party stakeholders can stage a variety of events, all of which focus on concrete climate action and provide a voice to the audience. Action Hub events are markedly different from other traditional meetings held at the conference, in both format and content, and provide a central scene that is inclusive, participatory and transparent.  

This fireside chat between Prof Rob Miller, Eliot Whittington and an aviation industry speaker will explore the opportunities and challenges for climate neutral aviation and the need for a whole system of aviation perspective. The hosts will provide a sneak peek into the simulator to demonstrate its potential to guide innovation, investment, and policy action. The live Action Hub audience will be invited to actively contribute to this session. 

The venue has 75 person seats only. The Hub events are not on invitation and open to any registered participant (someone with a blue badge) in the COP. Participants who do not secure a seat in the HUB will not be allowed to stand by or sit on the floor 

All Hub events will be filmed and broadcasted live on the UNFCCC webcast page. The videos will also be accessible later on-demand (links will be posted on the Action Hub webpage as video files are made available), and downloadable. 


CSF: Delivering the Climate Transition: Implications of COP26 for finance 

13:30 – 15:00, Friday 12th November, Scottish Power HQ, Glasgow 

At the end of COP26 the event will capture the key messages, insights and actions from the meeting, and explore implications for business and the finance industry. We will bring together experts in climate science and policy, business and finance for a series of reflections and discussions on the key topics emerging from COP26 and how to address the challenges of the coming years.  

After an opening address by CISL Director Clare Shine, CISL will host a number of sessions, each including interventions from a range of experts from the CISL network, and a summary to highlight key comments and implications.  

Science and policy session will include reactions to IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report, progress on global climate negotiations and the Paris Agreement, identifying wins and remaining challenges for policy.  

Business will consider alignment of words and actions, translating the policy statements into metrics and targets for business, including the role of technology and research and development needs for decarbonisation and adaptation.  

Finance will address capital and risk sharing systems for a resilient and just transition, how net zero commitments align with this and implications for business and finance itself. Finally reflecting on what this means for leaders in the short, medium and long-term.  

Speaking will be:

  • Clare Shine, Director and CEO, CISL
  • Rob Bailey, Partner Climate & Sustainability, Oliver Wyman
  • Emily Shuckburgh, Director, Cambridge Zero
  • Ernst Rauch, Chief Climate and Geo Scientist, Munich Re
  • Gavin Starts, CEO, Icebreaker One
  • Johanna Köb, Head of Responsible Investment, Zurich
  • Brook Riley,Head of EU affairs, Rockwool
  • Zoë Knight, Managing Director, HSBC Centre of Sustainable Finance
  • Gonzalo Saenz De Miera, Director of Climate Change, Iberdrola    
  • Gillian Secrett, CISL

A managed and just transition to net zero by 2050 at the latest is the only way to shift the current trajectory. It means businesses, government, civil society and communities going all in to solve the climate crisis, halving emissions by 2030 and keeping the global temperature increase to below 1.5C. Read CISL's key asks for business, policy and finance at COP26.

Monday, 1 November, 2021 - 09:15 to Friday, 12 November, 2021 - 05:30

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