In advance of the event, Delano spoke with Nancy Saich, senior adviser in climate and environment at the European Investment Bank. She gives “The future of buildings” presentation, Wednesday at 2:30pm.
Aaron Grunwald: What do you want the audience to get most from the “The future of buildings” talk?
Nancy Saich: I hope they will understand that climate change is already changing the weather--with more frequent extreme weather events occurring across Europe and the world. These as well as the longer term impacts on buildings from climate change are creating risks that not everyone is thinking about. I hope I can leave everyone with a clear idea of what risks they might need to think about--and that these climate risks can be addressed most effectively by identifying vulnerabilities and taking account of these early in the planning cycle. I am also hoping to give them a few interesting ideas about other climate related developments that they may not be aware of but which are coming soon to the industry.
From your perspective, what is the biggest “risk” or “threat” facing real estate investors?
There are both transition risks and physical risks from climate change, as Mark Carney [governor of the Bank of England] has said. Perhaps the main risk is that real estate investors are not yet asking the right questions about these climate risks, and many have not heard of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures--see www.fsb-tcfd.org--which perhaps they might want to have a look at!
Aside from your own talk at the ALFI event, which speech or panel are you most looking forward to hearing, and why?
I am very interested in the panel “Responsible decision-making: coupling sustainability and profitability” because we do need to build real environmental and social sustainability into all sectors--this is one of the key drivers of our ESG work at EIB. We need to do this urgently, as we are currently on an unsustainable path which is not good for humanity’s future, and I am always interested to hear from other people working in this field in different sectors. At EIB we fund almost every economic sector across Europe--and also in developing countries, so it is important that I also learn from the discussions here so that we can support these practices as well in the bank’s projects.