How INSPIRE Works
There is a growing consensus that the global financial system must urgently evolve to effectively respond to the catastrophic financial risks posed by climate change and environmental degradation and support the transition to a sustainable economy. Financial institutions worldwide are now considering what measures they can introduce to integrate climate and environment considerations into their operations — subject to their individual mandates — and how these measures can be successfully implemented.
Through funding gold-standard research and fostering innovative partnerships, INSPIRE works with researchers, NGFS members and observer organisations, as well as the wider community of central banks and financial supervisors to advance and enhance ambition in the sustainable financial policy agenda.
Funding projects and programmes
Since 2019, we have published five open calls for research and policy projects and have commissioned over 30 research projects. Our projects comprehensively cover all major aspects of central banking and financial supervision and our programmes consist of a series of projects oriented around specific challenges such as sustainable crisis response and recovery.
We have also funded projects at the request of the NGFS such as the NGFS climate scenarios and the NGFS Case Studies of Environmental Risk Analysis Methodologies.
We are always looking to form new collaborative partnerships that strengthen the financial system’s ability to manage climate- and environment-related financial risks and mobilize capital for green and low-carbon investments. One-third of INSPIRE-commissioned projects have buy-in from central bankers.
Most recently, we partnered with the NGFS Workstream on Research to launch the Joint Study Group on Biodiversity and Financial Stability. We also work closely with the Green Finance Platform to coordinate the Sustainable Finance Policy Effectiveness Working Group.
INSPIRE — the International Network for Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research, and Exchange — is a global, philanthropy-supported research network launched in 2019 to commission independent, gold-standard research on the financial oversight of climate- and environment-related risks and to promote green finance.
As a designated stakeholder of the Central Banks and Supervisors’ Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS), INSPIRE is designed to swiftly commission and fund multiple lines of innovative and robust research and interface with the NGFS and its members. Through commissioning, funding, and partnership, we convene researchers, policymakers, and practitioners, and communicate research findings so that institutions around the world can benefit from world-class scholarship.
INSPIRE serves as a platform through which philanthropies can continue to support research on financial oversight over time. The network is co-hosted by ClimateWorks Foundation and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science. INSPIRE’s trajectory is guided by dialogue with the NGFS members and the expertise of an advisory committee that provides recommendations on research to commission and help engage with central banks and supervisors.
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment
The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment was established in 2008 at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Institute brings together international expertise on economics, as well as finance, geography, the environment, international development, and political economy to establish a world-leading centre for policy-relevant research, teaching and training in climate change and the environment. It is funded by the Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment, which also funds the Grantham Institute –Climate Change and the Environment at Imperial College London.
The ClimateWorks team is on a mission to end the climate crisis by amplifying the power of philanthropy. Over the past decade, we’ve built a global platform for philanthropy to innovate and accelerate climate solutions that scale. Our global programs and services equip philanthropy with knowledge, networks, and solutions to drive climate progress. Since 2008, ClimateWorks has granted over $1.3 billion to more than 600 grantees in over 45 countries.
Nick Robins is Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute. He is a co-founder of INSPIRE and co-chair of the NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group on Biodiversity and Financial Stability. The focus of his work is on how to mobilise finance for a just transition to a net zero and resilient economy, promoting the role of central banks and regulators in achieving sustainable development and investigating how the financial system can support the restoration of nature.
Simon Dikau joined the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment in May 2019. He holds a PhD in Economics from SOAS University of London on ‘Central Banking and Economic Development’. His thesis focuses on the theoretical, historical and empirical relationship between central banking, economic growth and sustainable development. Simon has worked as a research assistant and consultant for think tanks on topics of sustainable finance in Asia and emerging markets. His publications and broader academic research focus on the various aspects of central banking, sustainable development, finance and climate change.
Natasha Kunesch is a consultant for the LSE with seven years of experience in stakeholder management and project coordination which she draws upon to support INSPIRE’s secretariat and contribute to the NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group on Biodiversity and Financial Stability. Previously, her work was orientated around coastal ecosystem management and designing social-equitable protected area networks in the Asia-Pacific. She holds an MSc in Environment, Politics and Development from SOAS, University of London and a BSc in Conservation Biology from the University of the West of England.
Elena supports INSPIRE’s work programme ‘Central banking and supervision in the Biosphere’ and coordinates work to explore the linkages between biodiversity loss and financial stability. Prior to joining the Institute, Elena led the UK Government’s ASEAN Low Carbon Energy programme focussing on green finance in Malaysia, notably collaborating with Capital Markets Malaysia to establish the Malaysian Sustainable Finance Initiative. Elena started her career as an associate economist at the Central Bank of Malaysia, where she was part of the Monetary Policy Department. Elena holds degrees in Economics from the University of Sussex and International Management from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
The Network for Greening the Financial System
The NGFS, launched at the Paris One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017, is a group of central banks and supervisors, which on a voluntary basis are willing to share best practices and contribute to the development of environment and climate risk management in the financial sector, and to mobilize mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy. The NGFS brings together 105 central banks and supervisors and 16 observers as of December 2021.
Together, they represent five continents and around 75% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and are responsible for the supervision of all of the global systemically important banks and two thirds of global systemically important insurers. The NGFS is chaired by Frank Elderson, member of the ECB’s Executive Board. The Secretariat is provided by Banque de France.
Nick is Professor in Practice for Sustainable Finance at the LSE’s Grantham Research Institute. He is a co-founder of INSPIRE and co-chair of the NGFS-INSPIRE Study Group on Biodiversity and Financial Stability. The focus of his work is on how to mobilise finance for a just transition to a net zero and resilient economy, promoting the role of central banks and regulators in achieving sustainable development and investigating how the financial system can support the restoration of nature.
Jakob Thomae is one of the leading global experts on sustainable finance and long-term risks. He co-founded the 2° Investing Initiative network in New York and Berlin and serves as Executive Director of 2° Investing Initiative Deutschland.
Jakob led the development of the first methodology in the world to measure the alignment of financial portfolios with climate goals (PACTA). PACTA remains the most widely used alignment methodology in the world, endorsed by a number of governments and financial supervisors to track financial sector alignment. Over 1,000 organizations have used PACTA to conduct portfolio tests to date.
In 2020, Jakob launched the 1in1000 research programme designed to integrate complex and long-term risks into financial supervision and decision-making. As part of the programme, Jakob authored the first COVID-19 stress-test scenarios, informing the regulatory response of supervisors in Europe and the United States to the crisis. His work has also informed the climate stress-test scenario design of major central banks and financial supervisors.
Jakob is Special Research Fellow to the Japanese Financial Services Agency, and previously served as Academic Advisor to the Bank of England and EIOPA. He holds a PhD in Finance from the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers. Jakob is also Senior Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he teaches a Green Finance course.
Pierre Monnin is a Senior Fellow with CEP where he focuses on the environmental and social effects of monetary policy. Prior to that he has been with the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in various roles for a total of ten years –counseling SNB’s Board Members on issues concerning financial markets and monetary policy as well as developing measures of financial stability and integrating them into the bank’s monetary policy framework. He also worked at Man Investments as a Quantitative Analyst, developing asset allocation strategies for alternative investment.