Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Mind the Climate Gap: Is Finance Stepping up on Climate as Governments Fail?

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Register here to join the webinar.

Over the last decade we have seen governments fail to do what is necessary to address climate change. Emissions continue to rise as governments try and fail to impose climate regulations.

From the Trump administration calling climate a hoax and stepping back from the Paris agreements to the Chinese government allowing unsustainable emissions growth and the UN unable to control country emissions, the world of governments and intergovernmental processes has been powerless to put a dent in global emissions.

Today we are seeing companies and financial institutions try to step in where governments fear to tread. We see Blackrock, the world’s largest asset manager, say they will assess companies on their climate performance, we see banks take on commitments to not finance emitting industries, and even the creation of Climate Venture capital funds.

Will the financial world succeed where governments have failed? Join us for this IBES Discussion on Environment and Society to find out. We will talk to experts in climate policy as well as investors trying to address climate change. Our panelists include: Rodrigo Prudencio (Amazon), Julie Davitz (BNP/Bank of the West), Lila Preston (Generation Investments), Mark Campanale (Carbon Tracker), and Jeff Colgan (Brown University’s Watson Institute). The panel will be moderated by Ricardo Bayon (Encourage Capital).

Climate Solutions Lab

Rodrigo Prudencio is a member of the Climate Pledge Fund, Amazon’s corporate venture fund dedicated to backing high-quality startups that can work with Amazon to meet Amazon’s Climate Pledge. Previously, he led deals for the Alexa Fund, a venture capital fund built at Amazon to back leading companies in voice and multimodal technology. Rodrigo was the founder of Shuddle, a family-focused transportation service, and CEO of Hara Software. He was also partner at Nth Power, a venture capital firm dedicated to energy technology, and spent several years in Washington, D.C. working on international energy and environmental policy. He graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in International Relations and received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.


Julie Davitz serves as Bank of the West/BNP’s Head of Impact Solutions for Wealth Management. She is responsible for the specialized Impact Solutions offering, integrating client values and assets for more efficient and impactful philanthropic and financial outcomes. With customized strategies combined with an array of opportunities, Julie leverages the local service excellence of Bank of the West with global access of its parent company BNP Paribas. With over 20 years of experience in the impact sector, Julie Davitz is skilled at helping ultra-high-net-worth families, individuals, foundations, nonprofits and businesses mobilize their resources to realize the change they envision. Julie has worked with not-for-profit organizations, foundations, corporations, and philanthropists nationally and globally. She has served as Director of Development at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases UCSF, and Executive Director of the Silver Giving Foundation. She founded Julie Shafer Development & Philanthropy, specializing in thoughtful and effective strategic planning for donors, grantees and impact investors. Julie holds a BA from the University of California Davis and an MFCC from the University of San Francisco.


Lila Preston joined Generation Investment Management in 2004 and is Head of the Growth Equity Strategy. Prior to joining Generation, Lila was a Director in Development & Finance at VolunteerMatch. Before that she was a Fulbright Fellow in Southern Chile where she worked on community-based forestry and conservation projects. Lila currently serves as a Board Director at Nature’s Fynd, and a Board Observer at Toast and CiBO Technologies. She is a member of the Social Mission Board at Seventh Generation, is on the Board of Advisors at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, and is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum. Lila received a BA in English Language and Literature from Stanford University and an MBA from London Business School.


Mark Campanale is the Founder and Executive Chair of the non-profit think tank the Carbon Tracker Initiative, where he conceived the ‘unburnable carbon/stranded assets’ capital markets thesis. He commissioned and was editor of Unburnable Carbon – Are the World’s Financial Markets Carrying a Carbon Bubble? In November 2011 and Carbon, Wasted Capital, Stranded Assets in 2013. More recently, Mark co-founded ‘Planet Tracker’ which focuses on agriculture, seafood, forestry, water and textiles. Mark is responsible for management strategy, board matters and developing their capital markets framework analysis. Their goal is to align capital markets with natural ecological limits to growth. Prior to forming these groups, Mark had twenty five years experience in sustainable financial markets working for major institutional asset management companies. Mark is a co-founder of some of the first responsible investment funds firstly at Jupiter Asset Management in 1989 with the Ecology Funds, NPI with Global Care, the AMP Capital Sustainable Future Funds, and Henderson Global Investor’s Industries of the Future Funds. Mark served on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development working group on capital markets leading up to the 1992 Earth Summit; was a Member of the Steering Committee of UNEP Financial Sector Initiative (1999-2003). Mark is a Founder Director of the UK Sustainable and Responsible Investment Forum (UKSIF), 1990-2006, a member of the Advisory Board of the New Venture Philanthropy’s ‘Conservation and Markets Initiatives’; is Hon Treasurer of The Rainforest Foundation UK and is a Trustee of Ashden, focused on access to energy. Mark is an advisor to Consilium Capital, to Faith Invest and serves on the Advisory Board of Tribe Impact Capital. Additionally, Mark is Visiting Lecturer at the Master’s Course of the University of Cambridge’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership. Mark has a BA in Politics & Economic History and an M.Sc in Agricultural Economics.


Jeff Colgan is the Richard Holbrooke Associate Professor of Political Science at Brown University and Director of the Climate Solutions Lab at the Watson Institute for Public and International Affairs. His research focuses on international order, especially as it relates to energy and the environment. His forthcoming book Partial Hegemony: Oil Politics and International Order (Oxford University Press, October 2021) investigates how countries and other actors have been able to sustain meaningful international governing arrangements to solve tough problems, and uses that history to consider climate change. His previous book was Petro-Aggression: When Oil Causes War (Cambridge University Press, 2013). His research has been published in International Organization, International Security, International Studies Quarterly, World Politics, Foreign Affairs, and other journals. Prior to Brown University, he worked at McKinsey & Company, the World Bank, and American University. Professor Colgan has a Bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from McMaster University, a Master’s in Public Policy from UC Berkeley, and a PhD from Princeton University.