Toward a sociology of climate risk

Date: 7 Sep 2021 3:00 pm — 4:30 pm
Speaker(s): Daniel Beunza, Emily Bugden, Tanya Fiedler, Nick Robins, Matthias Täger
Venue: Online (via Zoom)

Hosted by Rebecca Elliott, Department of Sociology and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at LSE


Daniel Beunza, The Business School


Emily Bugden, Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge

Tanya Fiedler, University of Sydney

Nick Robins, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE

Matthias Täger, Department of Geography & Environment / Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, LSE


Climate risk entails all risks for financial assets and the financial system posed by the physical impacts of climate change and the societal reactions to climate change. The understanding of said climate risk within finance has deepened and matured tremendously since the first trailblazing reports on the costs of climate change and the carbon bubble. This enhanced understanding is showing in increasingly sophisticated models and metrics used to assess and measure climate risk by a range of actors from private investors to credit rating agencies and central banks. This quantitative model-based approach to climate risk resembles in many ways established approaches to other financial risks. While the design, diffusion, and use of such more traditional risk assessment models within finance have been subject to sociological investigations producing valuable insights into the shortcomings and unintended consequences of said models, a similar effort regarding climate risk models is still lacking.

This panel brings together empirical work on climate risk assessment and first sociological theorisations of climate risk modelling and assessment to make a first step toward a sociology of climate risk. Short presentations of original research will be followed by a panel discussion and an open Q&A session.

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