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Accelerating progress on climate risk

AdaptNSW webinar series 2020

24 Nov 2020

The AdaptNSW 2020 webinar series is presented by the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment and our partners, to showcase the leading work on climate change adaptation being delivered across New South Wales.

The COVID-19 restrictions led to us running the AdaptNSW Forum as an online webinar series in 2020. This allowed us to continue to bring together like-minded people from across NSW to share and discuss the practical actions being taken to build resilience to climate change in NSW.

Access the webinar resources to learn how Aboriginal cultural practices are teaching us about caring for country under climate change, how complementary net zero emissions and climate adaptation action can benefit communities, industry and government, motivators for addressing climate risk in the board room, how climate challenges are affecting our health and wellbeing, and approaches to managing climate impacts to our natural ecosystems.

Webinar 3 - Accelerating progress on climate risk

Expectations on all levels of government and business to consider climate risk continue to increase. Hear about different approaches – both current and emerging – to gaining buy-in and mainstreaming climate risk management from state government agencies and national experts.

Webinar resources

Webinar Slides (PDF)

Watch webinar recording


10.00am Welcome & Acknowledgement of Country: Nerida Buckley - Chairperson, Senior Team Leader, Climate Preparedness, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

10.05 am Opening Address: The Hon. Matt KeanNSW Minister for Energy and Environment

10.10 am Overview of NSW Government Action: Dr Stephen Bygrave, Director, Climate Resilience and Net Zero Emissions Branch, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

10.15 am Keynote Presentation - Managing up: re-framing climate risk through a governance, finance and liability lens?: Sarah Barker
Head of Climate Risk Governance, Minter Ellison

10.40 am Panel Discussion:

  • Sarah Barker - Head of Climate Risk Governance, Minter Ellison
  • Dr Angela Cummine - Director of Sustainable Finance, NSW Treasury
  • Katie Vines - Director of Operations, Climate-KIC Australia
  • Lucy Thomas - Head of Investment Stewardship, NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp)

11.15 am Closing Presentation: Katie Vines, Director of Operations, Climate-KIC Australia

11.30 am Close and thank you: Nerida Buckley - Chairperson


The Hon. Matt Kean - NSW Minister for Energy and Environment

Matt Kean is the NSW Minister for Energy and Environment, a portfolio that was first combined after the Berejiklian Government’s re-election in March 2019.

Minister Kean was elected as the member for Hornsby in 2011 at the age of 29. Prior to entering politics, the Minister, a chartered accountant, worked at Price Waterhouse Coopers. In January 2017, Mr Kean was elevated to cabinet as the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, where he led the nation on consumer protection reforms.

In his role as Energy and Environment Minister, Mr Kean released the State’s first electricity strategy to improve the reliability, affordability and sustainability of the State’s electricity system. He also negotiated an energy and emissions deal between NSW and the Commonwealth which is the largest single financial commitment to state-based emissions reduction in Australia’s history.

The Minister is a strong advocate for a science and economics led approach to climate change. Mr Kean has called out the link between climate change and this summer’s unprecedented bushfire season. He sees reducing our emissions as not only necessary to protect our environment but key to our future prosperity.

Nerida Buckley - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Nerida Buckley is Senior Team Leader, Climate Preparedness at DPIE and is responsible for leading a team with aim of making it easier for State and Local Government, communities and business to adapt to climate change and build the climate resilience of their critical infrastructure, assets and services. In this role Nerida engages across all NSW Government clusters to mainstream climate risk management, having led establishment of the Government’s first inter-agency governance group with oversight of climate risk, chaired by NSW Treasury.  

Prior to this, she worked in strategy and planning at Sustainability Victoria, based on Melbourne. Nerida cut her teeth during the Millennium drought, working as policy advisor and then community partnerships coordinator for a drought recovery program in South Australia. There, she learnt the importance of locally-led action to build resilience, and fell in love with wetlands. This experience took her to Beijing, where she joined Wetlands International to work on programs protecting China's Ramsar-listed wetlands and led development of their first ever 5-year Strategic Plan.

Nerida holds a BA in International Relations and a Masters of Environmental Management and Sustainability.

Sarah Barker - Minter Ellison

Website: https://www.minterellison.com/

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +61 38608 2928, +61 402 220 556

LinkedIn: Minter Ellison

Twitter: @minterellison

Sarah Barker leads the climate and sustainability risk governance team at MinterEllison and is a director of one of Australia's largest superannuation funds, the Victorian state government's $30 billion Emergency Services & State Super. She has more than two decades' experience as a corporate lawyer, and is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on climate change finance and liability risks.

Sarah's leadership in the field of climate change-related risk and liability is internationally recognised, and has been called upon by governments and institutions from the Bank of England to the United Nations PRI.

She teaches as part of the Cambridge University's Institute for Sustainability Leadership (convened by EY), and is an academic visitor at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University.  She is a member of the Steering Committee of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative, the only lawyer amongst a committee comprising senior executives from the Australian banking, finance and insurance sector.

Sarah was the instructing solicitor on a brief to Mr Noel Hutley SC that is widely cited as the authoritative exposition on directors' duties with regard to climate change risk in Australia (including by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Australian Securities & Investments Commission and the Reserve Bank of Australia).

Angela Cummine - NSW Treasury

Email address: [email protected]

Angela is Director, Sustainable Finance at NSW Treasury responsible for coordinating a strategic approach to identifying and managing climate-related risk and opportunities for the State’s balance sheet, and the collaborative development of a sustainable finance strategy for NSW. Angela works closely with stakeholders across the NSW public sector, as well as industry and peer governments to ensure a coordinated effort in addressing climate-related financial risk to NSW Government assets and services, and identifying strategic sustainability opportunities.

Prior to this, Angela held a British Academy Post-doctoral Fellowship (2014-2018) at the University of Oxford in the Department of Politics and International Relations, during which she published her first book, Citizens' Wealth (2016) with Yale University Press. Citizens’ Wealth won the 2017 Choice Award for Outstanding Academic Title and was reviewed by the Financial Times.

Angela has also worked at the OECD (Paris office) on international investment issues, the Australian Future Fund, Euromoney Institutional Investor's new Sovereign Wealth Centre as an SWF analyst and as a Politics tutor at Oxford University. She commenced her career in the Australian Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet as a policy advisor. Angela has a PhD and Masters in Political Theory (with Distinction) from Oxford University where she was a Rhodes Scholar and was selected as a Jenkins Memorial Fellow and Scatcherd Scholar. She holds a 1st Class Honours BA LLB from the University of Sydney and is an admitted lawyer in the Supreme Court of NSW (2007).

Katie Vines - Climate-KIC Australia

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.climate-kic.org.au


LinkedIn: @climate-kic-australia

Twitter: @climate_kic_aus

Katie Vines is Director of Operations at Climate-KIC Australia, which coordinates the Climate Measurement and Standards Initiative, that aims to improve consistency of reporting for Australian banks and insurers undertaking TCFD reporting.  

Katie supports transformative climate action projects and organisational strategy development. She recently led a project researching climate scenario use and development in Australia.  

She previously worked as the Head of Adaptation Research at C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.  In this role she led a program of research and facilitated a global network of city staff that drove meaningful, measurable and sustainable climate change adaptation.  

Katie has worked in State and Federal government in Australia where she collaborated with communities, local governments, researchers and public and private organisations on building adaptive capacity and resilience.

Lucy Thomas - NSW Treasury Corporation (TCorp)

Email address: [email protected]

Lucy Thomas is Head of Investment Stewardship with TCorp. Lucy is responsible for embedding stewardship principles across TCorp’s portfolios through ESG integration, active ownership and collaboration.

Prior to joining TCorp Lucy held the role of Global Head of Sustainable Investment at Willis Towers Watson where she supported asset owners in building organisational models and portfolios that deliver long term sustainable returns.

Lucy’s career experience includes roles in equity research at Morgan Stanley and funds management across listed equities and unlisted property in London, Europe and Australia. Lucy is passionate about the investment industry embracing an awareness of social and environmental returns alongside financial returns.

Lucy holds a BA (Hons) from Dublin University (Trinity College) and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Stephen Bygrave - NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Stephen is Director Climate Resilience and Net Zero Emissions in the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.  

Dr Stephen Bygrave has worked on climate change and environment issues at the international, national and local levels for over 25 years across government, academia, the private and not for profit sectors. Stephen spent three years as CEO of national think tank Beyond Zero Emissions and two years at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris.  

Stephen has spent more than ten years with the Senior Executive Service in various government agencies at the state and federal level including the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Department of Climate Change, Department of Environment and Heritage, Department of Agriculture, as well as Executive Director Climate Change and Sustainability in the ACT Government and Director Climate Resilience and Net Zero Emissions in the NSW Government.

Stephen has worked on a number of significant environmental reforms including development of the carbon pricing mechanism (2007-12), the national renewable energy target (1997-2020), the 100% renewables strategy in ACT Government and net zero emissions strategies in NSW and ACT Governments. He has been Adjunct Professor at UNSW and UQ and has a PhD in Resource and Environmental Management from the Australian National University, focused on village scale renewable energy projects in Fiji, Kiribati and Solomon Islands.