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Economistic Thinking and Environmental Breakdown: The limitations of pricing nature loss and stress-testing climate disaster

Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 13:00 to 14:30
Online via MS Teams


IKD Seminar Series logoAt the intersection of climate change and finance are a series of policy initiatives and theoretical approaches that further commodify nature and promote market-based instruments to managing climate change.  

  • What are core characteristics of mainstream climate and environmental governance and are they leading us astray?  
  • Does pricing biodiversity ensure better protection or does it constitute a recipe for disaster?  
  • Are heterodox economists addressing environmental disasters in fundamentally different ways than orthodox economists?  
  • Why are central banks focusing on stress testing and risk management approaches to climate change rather than prevention?  

Economistic Thinking: Limitations of Pricing Nature Loss & Climate Disaster Stress Testing

On 13 March 2024, OU Economics and IKD (Information, Knowledge and Development) had the honour to host Elena Almeida (minutes 6:25-28:55), Yannis Dafermos (minutes 29:40-54:45) and Ellie McLaughlin (55:20-1:10:45), who discussed policy initiatives and theoretical approaches at the intersection of climate change and finance. The three presentations were followed by Q&A (minute 1:10:35 till end).


Elena Almeida

Elena Almeida is a Senior Policy Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute, specialising in nature-related financial risks and central banking. She led the NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group to explore linkages between biodiversity loss and financial stability, from the perspective of central banks and supervisors, and co-authored the group’s “Central Banking and Supervision in the Biosphere: An agenda for action on biodiversity loss, financial risk and system stability” report. 

Prior to joining LSE, Elena spent almost 10 years in various policy-related roles, including working on monetary policy at the Central Bank of Malaysia and sustainable finance at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office. She also worked as a Climate Advisor at the Bank of England, leading the central bank’s work on nature. Elena holds degrees in Economics from the University of Sussex and International Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Yannis Dafermos

Yannis Dafermos is a Reader in Economics at SOAS University of London. His research interests lie in financial macroeconomics, climate finance, ecological macroeconomics, climate-aligned development, inequality and the political economy of the green transition. His work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, such as the Cambridge Journal of Economics, Ecological Economics, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, the Journal of Financial Stability, Nature Climate Change and New Political Economy. He has acted as Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator in several projects about the role of macroeconomic and financial policies in the green transition and has run capacity building programmes on climate change for many central banks. He is the Research & Knowledge Exchange Convenor of the SOAS Economics Department, a Senior Fellow at the SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance and a Fellow at the Forum for Macroeconomics and Macroeconomic Policies (FMM). He is also a Committee member of the Post-Keynesian Economics Society (PKES), an Associate Editor of the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, an Editorial Board member of the journal Ecological Economics and an Associate Editor of the Review of Evolutionary Political Economy.

Ellie McLaughlin

Ellie McLaughlin is Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer at Positive Money UK, a think-tank and campaigning organisation working to reform the money and banking system so that it enables a fair, sustainable and democratic society. She helps to develop Positive Money's policy ideas and bring these to policymakers including parliamentarians and central banks, in collaboration with civil society and campaigners. She previously worked at the NGO ShareAction in campaigning and policy advocacy, and holds an MSc in Environmental Governance from the University of Manchester, focused on Environmental Politics. .

Chair - Alan Shipman is a senior lecturer in economics at The Open University. He researches and commentates on macroeconomics, finance and creative industries, and joined the OU Economics department in 2008.

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