Bemnet Getachew Mengistu ’24

United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), Switzerland

This summer, I was a research assistant for the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), a working group under the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI). TCFD tracks disclosed climate-related risks from financial institutions and other organizations in order to develop a consistent framework used for reporting. TCFD works closely with climate-related risk tool providers to collect updates on their risk assessment tools so that member organizations have access to recent information on vendors. During my time working for TCFD, I was able to learn how to do extensive research and write a report on the market for climate-risk assessment tools as well as learn more about the work the TCFD climate team does regularly.

My internship was centered on finding new materials on 24 different tool providers. Since I was new to the topic of climate-related risk assessment tools, there were a lot of components to comprehend before moving on to the researching part of my internship. I joined the TCFD full climate team in their task debriefing meeting and learned how to approach research materials previously collected by the working group. I also attended the ongoing UNEP FI tool demonstrations that were conducted in phases to debrief financial institutions on the available offerings by different vendors. This was a great starting point for me, as I learned what banks and investment companies are looking for when working with tool providers, which directed the research paper I worked on. At the end of my internship, I was able to present the research paper, with a focus on physical risk assessment tools that highlighted the advantages and limitations of the included tools.

I also participated in finding materials for the TCFD Sectoral Report, which focuses on the impact of climate change on different IPCC sectors. I compiled a list of the top 25 firms in agriculture, transport and real estate sectors in Europe by market cap together with their NAICS codes to provide greater detail on the sub-sectors these companies cover. I learned about how formal presentations are conducted and important details to consider working on Excel spreadsheets to portray data.

Throughout this internship, I had the opportunity to be an active member of a great team of professionals who encouraged me to be a more inquisitive person. As a person who looks forward to exploring international work opportunities, working for the UNEP FI was a huge step for me and one that I will not forget. Even though it was my first time working on the integration of financial institutions and climate change impact, I am happy to have worked on a theme that affects every country in the world and hope to continue exploring more on UNEP FI’s works in addressing climate change.

I would like to thank Lea Lorkowski, Josefine Sara, Linnea Falk and David Carlin for welcoming and guiding me in my internship. I would also like to thank the ’68 Center for Career Exploration and the Class of 1974, for providing me with such a great opportunity and support throughout the summer.