Two alumni share their advice on what businesses should do about climate change.

Michele Zarri

MSc Carbon Management, 2012

Michele is Senior Regulatory Economist at National Grid in London which owns and operates the electricity transmission network in England and Wales.

Previously, he was Policy Advisor in the Department of Energy and Climate Change in the UK Government.

The electricity transmission network plays an essential role in mitigating climate change: it enables the transition to a low-carbon economy by facilitating connections of large-scale renewable energy sources, like solar farms and onshore and offshore windfarms, to the national electricity network.

Michele works to ensure the regulatory framework is fit for purpose, ensuring that investments in the network—that are required to connect renewable generators—are made in the most efficient and effective way.

For Michele, businesses considering their place in mitigating climate change should see the opportunities before them: “My advice would be to help the business to understand that tackling climate change is not just the right thing to do, but also that many of the risks (eg regulatory, business etc) that are brought about by climate change can be turned into business opportunities that can be beneficial to the business, both in the short and long term.”


Darius Tolkein-Spurr

Darius Tolkein-Spurr

MSc Carbon Finance, 2014

Darius is Climate Change and Forest Carbon Economist for the British Columbia Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

British Columbia’s forests cover an area more than twice the size of the UK. Climate change has increased the risk of wildfires and other disturbances which can have devastating effects economically and in many communities across the province.

The federal and provincial government have committed to investing in British Columbia’s vast forests as a tool to combat climate change, aiming to increase resilience as well as the long-term carbon storage capacity of British Columbia’s forests.

Darius is currently working on the Forest Carbon Initiative, a federally and provincially funded programme that targets carbon sequestration and emissions reductions in British Columbia forests through a portfolio of activities that deliver high value carbon investments.

Like Michele, Darius also recognises that there are opportunities to be had for businesses that recognise the threat of global warming: “With the release of the new IPCC report solidifying the need for the world to stay under a 1.5˚C rise, it can become easy to feel disempowered with the necessary work ahead that needs to be done in such a relatively short amount of time. I would say to those working in the private sector, climate change is not a threat, but a massive investment opportunity integral to the bottom line of your business.

"To those working in government, hurry up! Implementing policies that take action on climate change will cost a lot more later than they do now.”


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