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Misum Forum 2021: Highlights and recordings

Did you miss Misum Forum 2021 live on October 8, or would you like to revisit some segments? Below you can watch on-demand the academic presentations and the practitioners panel, or read short summaries with highlights for each session.

Practitioners Panel

This year’s Misum Forum brought together five representatives from finance and high-polluting industries to discuss the challenges brought about by the climate crisis and potential opportunities. With speakers:

  • Vanessa Butani, VP Group Sustainability, Electrolux
  • Johan Florén, Head of Communications and ESG, AP7
  • Henrik Henriksson, CEO, H2 Green Steel
  • Tony Sandberg, Director of E-Mobility Scale Up, Scania
  • Karin Stenmar, Head of Sustainability, Folksam

Panel moderated by:

  • Emma SjöströmMisum Sustainable Finance Initiative Co-director
    Research Fellow, Department of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics
  • Torkel Strömsten, Misum Accounting Frameworks Platform Director
    Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Stockholm School of Economics

Climate change clearly poses both challenges and opportunities to different industries, from newly innovative ventures like H2 Green Steel as well as more traditional institutions like Folksam and AP7 in the finance and investment sectors. The nature of challenges and opportunities is also sector-specific. For instance, customer-facing industries like Electrolux will need to engage with customers and help them change behavior. Whereas manufacturing firms such as those in the steel sector like H2 Green Steel need to convince business customers to accept short term cost increase. While older and more established industries such as the financial and insurance industry face their own challenges, particularly connected to the time it takes to implement changes.

Do not miss watching the entire panel recording for insightful observations from the five panelists, including their closing remarks on where they see their respective companies in three years' time. 

Academic presentations

Prof. Joseph Stiglitz
Professor of Economics, Columbia University
"Climate Change, the Social Cost of Carbon and Risk"

Session moderated by Martina Björkman Nyqvist, Misum Executive Director and Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Stockholm School of Economics

Nobel Memorial Prize Winner for 2001, Prof. Joseph Stiglitz addresses two key topics in his talk at the Misum Forum for 2021. First, he explains why recent work in economics (integrated assessment markets) underestimates urgency and scope of what has to be done, and lead to too low a price of carbon. Followed by why climate policy needs to entail a mix of instruments—pricing, regulations, and public investments. Watch the entire presentation below.

Prof. Brendan O’Dwyer
Professor of Accounting, University of Amsterdam
"The quest for globally consistent and comparable corporate reporting on climate change risks"

Session moderated by Torkel Strömsten, Misum Accounting Frameworks Platform Director
Associate Professor, Department of Accounting, Stockholm School of Economics

Prof. Brendan O’Dwyer reflects on some of the recent developments in climate risk reporting. Drawing on interviews with members of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and a range of regulators, users and preparers of climate risk reporting, Prof. O’Dwyer drives the point that we are facing an inherently complex issue. Climate change impacts are future and uncertain, this presents a challenge for the traditional accounting approach. Watch the entire presentation.

“I would say we need to beware of overly standardized thinking – yes – standardization is a goal… but we’re going to have paradoxically embed flexibility within that. And to embrace overall limits to comparability and consistency in this particular area”.

Prof. Samuel Fankhauser
Professor of Climate Change Economics and Policy, University of Oxford
"Making Net Zero Happen"

Session moderated by Julius Andersson, Misum Affiliated Researcher

Two thirds of global carbon emissions are now subject to a net zero target. In his presentation, Prof. Sam Fankhauser reviews our past track record in reducing emissions and outlines the emission reduction challenges (and potential solutions) we now face. He suggests that decarbonization is feasible in many countries and sectors, but actual implementation requires a diverse policy mix, enshrined in well-designed climate law. Watch the entire presentation.

“We need a very diverse policy mix not just the carbon price. We need a lot of different things. If we do that, there’s an argument that decarbonization can be made consistent with economic prosperity. It can be made consistent with green growth. This isn’t a story of economic sacrifice, it’s a story about growth opportunities.”

Prof. Elke Weber
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment, Princeton University
"Decision Making in Complex Realities"

Session moderated by Sarah Jack, Misum Sustainable Business Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation Platform Director; Professor, Department of Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology

The complex nature of human behavior is increasingly recognized as an important cause of sustainability problems and potential leverage for their solution. There are so many psychological processes, phenomena, biases, that sometimes it can appear overwhelming to move away from homo economicus where things are not necessarily more simple but rather more straightforward given its grounding unified theory of human behavior opposed to these more psychological theories. Watch Prof. Elke Weber’s talk where she provides a thorough explanation of theories and tools that support the integration of knowledge about context-dependent and dynamic human behavior into sustainability research. Watch the entire presentation.

“Individuals are not acting in a vacuum. Individuals are components in social networks, they interact with each other, and also with ecological actors and so what happens here when we have this large list of theories that tell us about these components and information processing?”

Prof. Laura Starks
Professor of Finance, the University of Texas at Austin
"Institutional Investors and Climate Risk"

Session moderated by Ramin Baghai, Misum Sustainable Finance Initiative Co-director and Associate Professor, Department of Finance

Institutional investors have been increasingly concerned about the climate risks in their portfolios. Prof. Laura Starks took us through a survey and empirical analyses of these investors’ portfolio holdings to observe their preferences and actions with regards to climate risk disclosures and changes in regulatory climate risk. 

Misum Researchers

Four early-stage researchers from Misum’s research platforms and initiative presented key insights from their research areas in response to the theme of climate change. Sessions moderated by Sarah Jack, Misum Sustainable Business Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation Platform Director.

Marion Leroutier
Postdoctoral Fellow at Misum, Human Capital and Sustainable Development Research Platform
"The Effect of Carbon Pricing on Emissions: Evidence from the UK"

Misum Postdoc Marion Leroutier looks at the impact on CO2 emissions brought on by a carbon tax introduced in the UK power sector. Given the need for a drastic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions needed to avoid dangerous climate change (IPCC, 2014), carbon pricing is widely seen as the most cost-effective instrument to achieve emission reductions. Watch Marion Leroutier’s presentation to find out how carbon tax lowered emissions from 21% to 26% per year compared to a no-policy scenario. Watch the presentation here.

Laszlo Sajtos
Postdoctoral Fellow at Swedish House of Finance, Misum Sustainable Finance Initiative
"Carbon Pricing and Firm-Level CO2 Abatement- Evidence from Sweden"

Postdoc Laszlo Sajtos presents a comprehensive evaluation of how carbon pricing has affected manufacturing firms’ emissions. Looking at Sweden, which introduced the carbon pricing mechanism in 1991, Laszlo contributes to an underdeveloped body of empirical research into the positive effects of carbon pricing. Watch Laszlo’s talk for an in-depth look into the effects of carbon pricing as both the sectoral distribution of carbon emissions and taxes and for how carbon pricing has shaped firms’ emissions. Watch the presentation here.

Margo Enthoven
Misum Affiliated Researcher and Postdoctoral Fellow, Misum Sustainable Business Development through Entrepreneurship and Innovation Research Platform
"Co-creating sustainable markets through public procurement and circular business models"

Postdoc Margo Enthoven explores the possibilities of a combined approach of creating sustainable markets with circular business models and public procurement. Public procurement is the largest policy instrument for innovation, sustainability and inclusiveness, and a promising catalyst for the circular economy. In a circular economy, resources are regenerative or reusable. We preserve what’s already made such that there is no waste, thus closing the loop of production. But how feasible is this? Watch Margo’s presentation to find out what challenges lay ahead to achieving this model and how these challenges can be overcome. Watch the presentation here.

Marek Reuter
Misum Affiliated Researcher and Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting, Misum Accounting Frameworks Research Platform
"Environmental management and conceptions of ‘responsible’ organizational Self: An organizational identity perspective"

Assistant Professor Marek Reuter presents a case study of a medium-sized company in the chemical sector that has a historically rooted identity of being a “pioneer” in corporate environmentalism. How are contemporary ‘green’ practices implicated in organizations’ meaning systems? Watch Marek’s presentation to unpack how some organizations are redefining their values and moralities to create a responsible organizational self, and the good and the bad that come with this process. Watch the presentation here.