Eamon Gara Grady ’23.5

United Nations Environment Program-Finance Initiative, Switzerland

This summer, I had the pleasure of working with the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP-FI) under David Carlin ’12. UNEP-FI serves as a climate finance consultancy for over 300 global member financial institutions—including AON, Barclays, Citi, HSBC, ING, and Standard Chartered. UNEP-FI aims to guide the global economy towards sustainability by advising its members on how to identify, quantify, project and mitigate climate-related counterparty risks in their portfolios.

At UNEP-FI, David is the Program Lead for the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) Banking Pilot. This group is focused on aiding UNEP-FI members in reporting their own climate-related counterparty risks, corporate strategies for addressing these risks, and metrics and targets used to measure their progress towards the mitigation of these risks.

The first assignment I was given was to construct a detailed outline for a report on corporate governance, as it relates to climate finance. I read through the climate sections of various banks and insurance companies’ annual reports, looking for common practices regarding corporate strategy (e.g. dedicated climate risk teams, integration of climate risk models into overall risk evaluation tools, etc.). Once I had the paper outline, I transitioned to working on the results of a survey from members regarding their climate-related financial risk disclosures. I collaborated with another Williams intern, Rebecca Van Pamel ’19, to create the survey using Qualtrics. Once all of the responses were collected, we created visuals displaying our findings, and then compiled these into a PowerPoint presentation which was then used to inform members on the program’s progress.

Rebecca and I also work together to construct a slide deck overviewing the oil, natural gas, and utilities sectors, in which we outlined these sectors’ pasts, their projected futures, and potential physical transition, and the legal risks which may hinder their growth or further their decline. On this project I was responsible for creating graphs and tables in Excel (using data derived from a climate modeling computer program) to display production and consumption projections of oil and natural gas over the 21st century from global and regional perspectives.

Along with the aforementioned projects, I created a biweekly newsletter for members summarizing recent articles and reports on climate change, climate finance, and renewable energy. This was possibly my favorite task of the summer and I learned so much about new policies and technologies relevant to the climate finance field.

This internship has greatly expanded my knowledge of the financial sector and climate science, as well as refined my writing 
and Microsoft Office skills. Additionally, it has affirmed my 
decision to double major in economics and statistics and has 
furthered my interest in climate science. I look forward to applying my newfound knowledge and experience from UNEP-FI 
to my next three years of studies at Williams, and I give a big thank you to David, the Class of 1974 and the ’68 Center, as without them this experience would not have been possible.