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"We continue to learn about the risks and solutions to climate change"

Comillas holds a conference on climate finance with the participation of honorary doctorates Robert F. Engle and Eduardo Schwartz


Eduardo Schwartz, during his speech in Comillas

7 May 2024

For two days, Comillas hosted the conference "Climate finance 2024: New contributions in Climate Finance and the hydrogen economy", organised by the Chair for Low Carbon Hydrogen Studies. The brand new honorary doctors, Robert F. Engle and Eduardo Schwartz, took part in both conferences with presentations that had climate change and finance as the central axis.

In his speech, Robert F. Engle, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Economics and professor emeritus at NYU Stern, warned that "although climate change is above all a long-term risk, there is ample evidence that the future damage caused by this phenomenon will be much worse and we do not know the extent of the economic costs". The Nobel laureate acknowledged that "we are still learning about the risks and solutions to climate change, and we must mobilise private capital to drive decarbonisation and work with the rest of the world to achieve the zero emissions target agreed in Paris in 2015".

Meanwhile, during his talk, Eduardo Schwartz presented a study in which he talked about the price of water and electricity in hydroelectric generation. The professor mentioned how droughts impact the price and how climate change could influence water reserves. "Water scarcity due to extreme weather events affects farmers, households and energy production," he said, recalling that the World Resources Institute forecasts that global water consumption will be 56% higher than existing reserves.

Climate change is undoubtedly one of the main challenges we face, with consequences for financial markets and the economy in general. Not surprisingly, "last year saw a high number of extreme weather events resulting in financial losses, so financial markets have an important role to play in the transition to a zero-emission economy", according to the organisers of the event, which analysed the latest research aimed at measuring or mitigating the effects of climate change. The different speakers addressed issues such as the state of ice volume in Arctic and Antarctic regions; climate finance and the risk of drought in Africa; the hydrogen economy; and green fintechs.

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