Climate Change 2017

Politics, progress and potential

9 Oct 2017 - 09:30 to 10 Oct 2017 - 13:30
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Chatham House, London


The major political changes of the past year could have significant implications for global action on climate change. A new US presidential administration has ushered in dramatic changes to US climate-related regulation and raised questions about the US’s commitment to the Paris Agreement; and the triggering of Article 50 and commencement of Brexit negotiations could have considerable impact on European energy and climate policy.

In this context, the ambition of policy-makers internationally to take action on climate change needs to be reassessed. In the lead-up to the first 'global stocktake' in 2018, the practical challenges of emissions reductions persist and a step change is needed to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

This 21st annual Chatham House Climate Change conference will address:

  • Global climate policies and the dynamics of international leadership of the climate change agenda;
  • Climate change-related risks to financial markets and efforts to manage these;
  • Under-realized mitigation opportunities (such as land use, international transport and heavy industries);
  • The extent of carbon pricing schemes and the prospects for expansion;
  • Climate change risk reduction within markets and supply chains.

The Chatham House Rule 
To enable as open a debate as possible, this conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule.


Monday 9 October

Session One | The Global Context

This session will explore the nexus between changes in the real economy, climate politics and international negotiations and consider the implications for meeting climate objectives. 

  • How might the current US administration impact domestic and international climate change ambitions? How could this affect the leadership dynamics of the international climate change agenda?
  • To what extent has progress been made in decarbonizing the real economy
  • What are the prospects for the 2018 stocktake and facilitative dialogue?

Session Two | Climate Change and Financial Markets

Concern about the financial system’s exposure to climate risks is growing among regulators, financial institutions and investors. Various initiatives are under way to improve transparency and risk management, including the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) which reports to the G20 in 2017. This session will explore climate-related risks to the financial system and explore the opportunities to mitigate or manage them. 

  • What are the most significant systemic climate risks and how can these be managed effectively?
  • What are the implications of the TCFD’s recommendations and how should these be taken forward?
  • How can the most promising initiatives to enhance corporate governance and transparency relating to climate risk be developed?

Session Three | 1.5°C – What does it mean?

The Paris Agreement obliges governments to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increase to 1.5°C, and it invited the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to publish a special report on the impacts at this level of warming, as well as associated emissions pathways. This session will explore the implications of the 1.5°C target. 

  • What is the available science on the consequences of a 1.5°C global temperature increase and what is expected from the IPCC special report?
  • What role should negative emissions technologies and geoengineering play in climate change mitigation?
  • What are the implications of a 1.5°C target for climate-vulnerable countries?

Session Four | Pricing Carbon

A growing proportion of emissions are subject to some form of carbon pricing, however coverage remains patchy and average prices are too low. This session will explore the extent of carbon pricing and the prospects for expansion. 

  • What is next for the EU Emission Trading Scheme and China’s emissions trading pilot schemes?
  • What are the opportunities for enhanced international cooperation on carbon pricing?
  • How can the politics of carbon pricing be managed?

1730 Close of day one and drinks reception 

Tuesday 10 October

Session Five | Untapped Mitigation Potential

Achieving climate goals demands a step change in the rate of emissions reductions. This session will examine where underexploited opportunities for rapid or extensive emissions reductions lie and how they can be realized. 

  • What is the progress for carbon reductions in the so-called ‘difficult’ sectors such as land use, international transport and heavy industries?
  • How can reduction of emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases contribute?
  • What are the opportunities for action by governments, businesses and cities?

Session Six | Adaptation and Risk Reduction

Even in the most ambitious emissions reductions scenarios, climate impacts will become more extreme and more dangerous. This session will hear from the front lines of climate change about the opportunities and challenges of adaptation. 

  • How can more resilient markets and supply chains be developed?
  • How can cities and infrastructure be future-proofed against climate impacts?
  • In what ways will agriculture need to adapt?
  • What are the risks of climate tipping points, where irreversible, significant environmental changes occur rapidly, and what might these entail?

1300 End of conference 

© The Royal Institute of International Affairs 2017

Pricing and booking information 

Register by Friday 7 July 2017 to benefit from the early booking rate.

Ways to book:

  1. Phone: Call Louisa Troughton on +44 (0)20 7957 5727
  2. Online: Click here to complete the online registration form
  3. Email / Post: Download a PDF registration form, complete and return to Charlotte Laycock via email or post: Chatham House, 10 St. James’s Square, London, SW1Y 4LE


Partners and major corporate members  
All organizations£545£645
Standard corporate members  
Commercial organizations£1,190£1,390
Government departments£720£820
NGOs and academics£440£540
Commercial organizations£1,335£1,535
Government departments£810£920
NGOs and academics£490£595

Your delegate pass includes:

  • Conference attendance
  • Documentation
  • Lunch and refreshments

Travel and accommodation are not included. View a list of recommended hotels here.


If you are interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please contact
Kamil Hussain on +44 (0) 20 7314 2783


Chatham House
10 St James's Square
[email protected]

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7314 2785
Fax: +44 (0)20 7957 5710

If you wish to book the venue for your own event please phone +44 (0)20 7314 2764

The nearest tube station is Piccadilly Circus which is on the Piccadilly and the Bakerloo Underground lines. From Piccadilly follow Regent Street southwards towards Pall Mall and take the first road on the right called Jermyn Street. Duke of York Street is the second road on the left and leads to St James's Square. Chatham House is immediately on your right.


Although we cannot book accommodation for delegates, we have arranged a reduced rate at some nearby hotels, where you can book your own accommodation. Please inform the hotel that you will be attending a conference at Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) to qualify for the Institute's reduced rate.

Please note all rates are subject to availability.

Flemings Mayfair
13 Half Moon Street
London - W1J 7BH

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7499 2964
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7499 1817
[email protected]

Classic Double without breakfast: £195 +VAT

The Cavendish London
81 Jermyn Street
London - SW1U 6JF

Tel: + 44 (0)20 7930 2111
Fax: + 44 (0)20 7839 2125
[email protected]

Classic Room without breakfast: £205 +VAT

Book The Cavendish online

The Stafford London 
St James's Place
London - SW1A 1NJ

Tel: 020 7493 0111
Fax: 020 7493 7121
[email protected]

Classic Queen without breakfast: £247 +VAT
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Media partners

If you are interested in becoming a media partner for this event, please contact 
Amy Smith on +44 (0)20 7957 5755

Press registration

This conference will be held under the Chatham House Rule. Information for journalists.

Press can request a press pass.