Interconnected Risks: COVID-19 and Climate Change

Hear an in-depth discussion of the linkage between climate change and the COVID-19 crisis.

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In this special episode of the Climate Risk Podcast Series, host and Co-president of the GARP Risk Institute, Jo Paisley, is again joined by John Scott, Head of Sustainability Risk for the Zurich Insurance Group. Having briefly touched on some of the interconnections that exist between climate change and the ongoing COVID-19 crisis in the previous episode, John has kindly returned to talk in more depth about this timely subject.

The episode addresses three key questions:

  • Why does climate change make the occurrence of future pandemics more likely?
  • Why would climate change worsen the impacts of a pandemic while making the response harder?
  • Why is this important for risk professionals and what is their role moving forward?

Speaker Bios

John Scott is Head of Sustainability Risk for the Zurich Insurance Group. He joined Zurich in 2001 becoming Head of Risk Insight in 2007, and was Chief Risk Officer for Zurich’s Global Corporate and Commercial Insurance businesses from 2009 to 2017. He took on his current role in 2018. John leads the Group’s engagement on sustainability risk, both internally and externally as the way Zurich delivers its purpose and values.

For the last ten years, in his roles as CRO for Commercial Insurance and as Head of Sustainability Risk, John has increasingly focused on climate change as a risk that affects the insurance industry. His unique combination of previous roles and experiences in the oil & gas and chemicals industries, together with his involvement in many industry and Government organisations, has given him a deep understanding of the risks and opportunities that climate change presents to companies, governments and society at large.

John is a member of the Institute of Directors in the UK, is on the Advisory Board to the World Economic Forum Global Risks Report and has contributed to industry and Government policy on climate change and green finance through many organisations. John’s expertise in sustainability risk and, in particular climate change risk, has made him a sought-after speaker at numerous international conferences.

As Co-President of GARP Risk Institute, Jo Paisley helps lead research and thought leadership for GARP and the broader risk community.

Jo Paisley’s career began at the Bank of England where she worked in various economist roles, ran the Statistics Division and spent the last part of her career in Supervision. Her last role was as a Director of the Supervisory Risk Specialist Division within the Prudential Regulation Authority. This area provided deep technical risk expertise to front line supervisors across all risk disciplines, covering banking and insurance. She was also heavily involved in the design and execution of the UK’s first concurrent stress test in 2014.

She left the Bank in 2015 and joined HSBC as their Global Head of Stress Testing, where she was responsible for ensuring that they met all their regulatory stress testing requirements around the world. She has also worked as an independent stress testing consultant, advising firms on how to get the most value out of stress testing. Jo studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Magdalen College, Oxford, before completing her MPhil in Economics at Nuffield College, Oxford.

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