Equilibrium Webinars

A monthly webinar series hosted by the Global Systems Institute, University of Exeter in partnership with Serpentine, part of Back to Earth
Online Monthly, Tuesdays 29 March, 26 April, 20 May and 28 June, 2-3pm BST (UTC/GMT+1) Free


As part of Back to Earth, Serpentine partners with Global Systems Institute – home to the UK’s most influential climate scientists – for Equilibrium, a series of webinars at the intersections of climate science and climate justice.

From the climate investment trap to the trouble with Net Zero, insights from thinkers and policy-makers will shed light on leading efforts to work towards just and balanced futures in the face of ecological breakdown.

The series is part of an ongoing GSI programme, backed by Open Society Foundations, to address flaws in the dominant paradigm for climate action and establish new ones built on principles of racial equity and sustainability.

The first webinar will address dynamics of climate, cost and vulnerability in the context of COP27, to be held at Sharm El-Sheikh, in November 2022. UCL Economist, Nadia Ameli, will address flaws in the current model for climate investment. GSI Director, Tim Lenton, will report on future dynamics of climate, cost and vulnerability. Lead Climate Finance negotiator for Bangladesh, Mizan Khan, will speak to the urgency of new financial mechanisms that can address loss and damage as well as mitigation and adaptation.

Equilibrium Webinar #1, Tuesday 29 March, 14:00 - 15:00 BST

Towards COP27 Addressing Climate Cost and Vulnerability

This webinar kicks off Equilibrium, a research and public engagement programme backed by Open Society Foundation and led by GSI in collaboration with Serpentine’s Back To Earth. It aims to shine a light on flaws in the dominant paradigm of climate finance acknowledging that, since Paris, financial flows have failed to match requirements needed to limit global warming to 1.5˚C, and pointing towards mechanisms fit to the task in the decade ahead.

Dr Nadia Ameli is a Principal Research Fellow at the Bartlett School of Environment, Energy & Resources at UCL and will speak to a climate investment trap that penalises vulnerability and obstructs global efforts towards decarbonisation. Professor Tim Lenton is Director of the Global System Institute, University of Exeter, and will report on projected movement in the human climate niche and implications for climate, cost and vulnerability.

Professor Mizan Khan is Deputy Director of ICCCAD and has been lead climate finance negotiator for Bangladesh since 2001. He will speak to the urgency of new financial mechanisms that can address loss and damage as well as mitigation and adaptation.

Equilibrium Webinar #2, Tuesday 26 April, 14:00 - 15:00 BST

A New Framework for Climate Finance: where grants, concessionary loans and the private sector fit in and where they do not

Barbados PM Mia Mottley garnered international headlines with her compelling calls for climate justice at COP26, where she also outlined a vision for new climate finance mechanisms that can break the impasse around global funding for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage. Drawing on his own decades of experience in the international banking sector, Mottley’s key advisor on climate finance, Avinash Persaud, will shed light on the substance of Barbados’s proposals and the key challenges now in the way of their timely realisation.

Avinash Persaud  is special envoy to the Prime Minister of Barbados Mia Amor Mottley, former chairman of the CARICOM Commission on the Economy, and emeritus professor at Gresham College in the UK. His career spreads across finance, academia and public policy, including positions as a former senior executive of J.P. Morgan, UBS, State Street and GAM London Ltd, and former chairman of Elara Capital PLC and RBC Barbados. He is a non-executive director of Proven Investments Limited.

Equilibrium Webinar #3, Friday 20 May, 14:00 - 15:00 BST

On Intergenerational Inequities
Central to the case for climate justice is an understanding that the cost of climate breakdown imposes a burden on future generations that is not of their own making. Drawing on the recent collaboration between Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Save the Children International, Professor Wim Thiery, Kit Vaughan and Stephen Mutiso report on recent efforts to qualify children’s exposure to extreme weather events, generational disparities and the widening disparity between high income and low-and-middle income countries.

Professor Wim Thiery is a climate scientist with a specific interest in modelling the interactions between water resources and the atmosphere in a changing world. In 2017, he was appointed as research professor (tenure track) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where he is now leading the BCLIMATE Group. He is lead author of ‘Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes’, published in Science in 2021.

Presentation title: Intergenerational Inequities in exposure to climate extremes

Kit Vaughan is Senior Climate Advisor at Save the Children UK. He has over 25 years experience from community level to international policy arenas with a focus on climate change and international governance and inequality.

Presentation title: Impact of climate on livelihoods and children in Eastern and Southern Africa

Stephen Mutiso is Regional Food Security and Livelihoods Adviser, East and Southern Africa for Save the Children UK where he provides technical support on food security and livelihoods with a key focus on climate resilient livelihoods.

Equilibrium Webinar #4, Tuesday 28 June, 14:00 - 15:00 BST

Perspectives on Reparation for Loss and Damage

The fourth and final webinar in the Equilibrium series, a research and public engagement programme backed by Open Society Foundation and led by GSI in collaboration with Serpentine’s Back To Earth.

As both carbon emissions and global atmospheric temperatures continue to rise, loss and damage from anthropogenic climate change is now estimated to exceed a cost of $150 billion per year. This is an economic and human reality that to-date remains unmet and that sees its worst impacts concentrated against the lives and livelihoods of the world’s most vulnerable people, above all in the global south. Chair of the Expert Advisory Group of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Professor Saleem Huq, will speak to the latest developments to advance conversations around loss and damage within the UNFCCC. Drawing on fieldwork in the USA and Namibia, Forensic Architecture’s Imani Jacqueline Brown will discuss the broader problems involved in addressing reparation for historical environmental damage.


Saleemul Huq is the director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development (ICCCAD) in Bangladesh, and is an expert on the links between climate change and sustainable development, particularly from the perspective of developing countries. He was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Sustainable Development in the third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and was the lead author of the chapter on Adaptation and Mitigation in the IPCC’s fourth assessment report.

Imani Jacqueline Brown (b. 1988) is an artist, activist, and researcher from New Orleans. Her work investigates the ‘continuum of extractivism’, which spans from settler-colonial genocide and slavery to fossil fuel production, gentrification, and police and corporate impunity. In exposing the layers of violence and resistance that comprise the foundations of US society, she opens up space to imagine a path to ecological reparations. She is currently a researcher with Forensic Architecture, an Economic Inequality Fellow with Open Society Foundations, a Visiting Research Fellow with the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a Visiting Lecturer in the Environmental Architecture programme at Royal College of Art.


Equilibrium Webinar #1 - Towards COP27 Addressing Climate Cost and Vulnerability
Equilibrium Webinar #4 - Perspectives on Reparation for Loss and Damage


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