The excellent lineup will discuss the opportunities offered by technology to address ESG issues, as well as the potential negative consequences of an over-reliance on technology.
Ruth Keating, Barrister, 39 Essex Chambers
Richard Davis, the Co-founder and CEO at 51toCarbonZero (51-0)
Esin Serin, Policy Analyst at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (GRI)
Özgür Kahale, Pro Bono Director, Europe at DLA Piper
Sarah Ellington, Partner at Watson Farley & Williams LLP
ESG – Environmental, Social and Governance – once the preserve of the corporate social responsibility team, is now increasingly falling under the remit of General Counsels, recognising the need to manage risks, the increasing trend towards regulatory intervention and the rise in class actions and other claims brought by advocacy groups seeking to effect change in corporate behaviour.
There is now general acceptance that (i) there is a climate emergency, which requires urgent action to avoid the worst effects of climate change; (ii) the effects of climate change are already being felt and adaptation along with mitigating action is required to protect those affected; (iii) affected persons should have access to the judicial system to protect their rights and obtain remedy; but (iii) many of the “solutions” to the climate crisis are driving exponential demand for metals and minerals which are challenging to extract in a socially and environmentally responsible manner; (iv) rights of different groups may be in conflict with one another; and (v) technological solutions themselves may engender unintended negative consequences.
As individuals, governments and corporations struggle to balance short-term needs with a potential requirement for significant social change necessary to tackle ESG issues, many are looking to technological innovation to bridge the gap between what needs to happen and what we as a society are willing to sacrifice to get there. But is Tech really the answer – Can Tech Save Us?