Past Topics


About the Topic

It is widely recognised that if society is to effectively adapt to climate change that the vast stocks of capital managed by the private sector must be tapped. Access to private finance is not given freely however. In any negotiation, the profit driven motive of financiers will prompt their initial question (if not thought): what’s in it for me? This expectation of return differentiates “financing” from “funding” and is the hallmark of any financing mechanism whether designed to assist adaptation or any other endeavour. The objective of this webinar is to consider the relationship between funding and financing in the context of the local government environment, and ultimately how each of these components influences each other and council capacity to manage climate change. The intention is not to run through a myriad of adaptation financing mechanisms. Given the infancy of adaptation finance and the significant flexibility of the industry this would neither be possible nor representative of the sector’s potential.

"Climate change is the mother of all-pervasive risks, it's scale and scope can pretty well impact everything. If we want to look at finance or how we resource certain activities then you need to start with funding - certainly in the local government space."

"Right now, I can pretty confidently say that climate risk is not really impacting how much organisations pay to access finance but I think that there are a number of significant trends in the private sector that are going to change that dynamic very soon".

"You need to get the CFO on board, you need to make it very clear that climate change might be an environmental impact but it has significant economic risks. Explain how seriously the private sector and the regulators are taking this risk, ... then you need to be understanding what the implications are to your operations and asset base so that you can financially cost it".

Ian Edwards (16th May 2019).

About Ian Edwards

Ian Edwards specialises in climate change adaptation and alternate risk transfer and adaptation for the private sector. He is a chartered accountant with twenty years experience in national and international financial services. He has worked across a broad spectrum of the financial industry including public practice, investment banking and reinsurance. His career has focused predominantly on affecting system change at a multinational scale, which has afforded him strong analytical, financial, information technology and project management skills.  Ian recently received a first class Masters Honours dissertation with the School of Environment at Griffith University. His research explores the viability of risk transfer mechanisms in the face of increasing climate risk within the context of Local Government.



Request Ian Edwards Back

Name *

The Law

About the Topic

Climate change is a pressing environmental, economic and social problem. Global warming is predicted to have wide-ranging impacts, and it presents enormous challenges for conventional models of law and socio-economic governance due to its pervasive character, long-term effects and the need for dynamic change in many of the fundamental areas of life. This webinars examines the climate change challenges for law on local adaptation responses.

It’s quite difficult to sue government for a failure to make policy but decisions made under a bad policy are certainly open to challenge”

“If a local government is aware of a risk and fails to act on it then that is something that a court will consider this”

“It is certainly getting to a point where it’s really difficult to argue that you (the Council) did not have that risk information … so if you are approving a development now in an area that is quite clearly projected to be subjected to a significant risk in the future then you are putting Council into a precarious position”

Dr. Justine Bell-James (4th May 2019)

About Dr. Justine Bell-James

Dr Justine Bell-James is a Senior Lecturer at the TC Beirne School of Law, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the areas of environmental law and property law. Dr Bell-James obtained a PhD from the Queensland University of Technology in 2010, and was subsequently awarded an ARC funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2011. Dr Bell-James undertook her postdoctoral research at the Global Change Institute at The University of Queensland, focussing on legal, policy and insurance responses to coastal hazards and sea-level rise. Dr Bell-James's research focuses on legal mechanisms for protection of the coast, drawing upon environmental, planning, property and tort law. In addition to her work on sea-level rise, Dr Bell-James is also particularly interested in novel legal mechanisms for protection of coastal ecosystems like mangroves and seagrass, protection of the Great Barrier Reef, and biodiversity offsets in the coastal context.

Dr Bell-James currently holds an ARC Discovery Grant (2019-2021) to consider how ecosystem services provided by mangroves can be integrated into law.


Request Dr. Justine Bell-James Back

Name *