5 October 2021, 15 - 16.30 

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A multi-sited team ethnography of "Financially redesigning the Anthropocene"

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Katharina Dittrich

Warwick Business School

Julius Kob

Warwick Business School

Capital allocation is a powerful way of distributing agency – both diverting and directing it. The consequences of this feature of financial markets have never been limited to only direct market participants but, of course, stretch out into virtually all spheres of societies and environments. To a large extent, the global climate crisis is one of these consequences. This research project looks at the various finance-focused programmes that are currently pursued to manage the climate crisis as leveraging this feature of financial markets to redistribute – purposefully divert and direct – agency towards more sustainable economies and societies. These programmes could be described, in other words, as attempts to ‘financially re-design’ the Anthropocene.

 

This ethnography aims at tracing these attempts by focusing on one core challenge: the production of actionable data and analytics for climate risks and alignment targets which enable climate risk and impact management practices in the investment industry. While a lot of different high-level policy, NGO and industry programmes have recently been initiated, we are interested in how the proposed tools, data and manuals are actually implemented, used and combined in financial every-day practices. Four types of actors that are active in climate-related investment practices ‘on the ground’, and which we currently work with, are: institutional investors, investor networks, analytics and data providers, and NGOs.