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MESH: New Network for UK Climate Services Community

New climate services networking group Mesh welcomed as playing ‘important role’ in move to a green economy

A new network to support the UK’s world-leading climate services skills has been welcomed by senior figures in Government, industry and green finance, who spoke at its launch event.

Mesh will form a community of people with expertise in climate services through free regional networking meetings. The UK leads the world in climate services but until now there has not been a networking group providing peer-to-peer support, knowledge-sharing and growing contacts at every level in public, private and academic arms of the sector.

The launch was held at the Royal Society of Arts in London on October 18th, as part of Green GB Week. Around 60 climate services professionals attended and speakers included Nick Jackson, Policy Adviser at Defra’s Climate Change Adaptation Team; Simon Thompson, Chief Executive of the Chartered Banker Institute; Dr Eleanor Webster, Science Advisor at BEIS; Raphaelle Vallet, Senior Policy Adviser in Green Finance at BEIS; Kristen Guida, manager of the London Climate Change Partnership and Dr Sophie Blackburn, Liberal Arts Fellow at King’s College, London.

Guests were welcomed by co-founders Briony Turner and Ben Smith, of Space4Climate and the Global Climate Adaptation Partnership (GCAP) respectively, who introduced the speakers.

Dr Eleanor Webster, Science Advisor – Earth Observation in the Climate Science team at BEIS, said: “Climate services play an important role in the move to a green economy, climate science data and modelling is at the heart of what we need to do. The availability of robust climate data underpins the effort to help the financial services sector better manage the financial risks from climate change, and make the most of the opportunities arising from our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Simon Thompson added: “Embedding green finance at the heart of our financial services sector requires developing the capabilities of significant numbers of green finance professionals who will become the financial leaders of the future. Leaders who will shape banking and finance place sustainability and green finance values at its heart.”
Ben Smith, Director Consulting Services at GCAP, said: “There is a huge opportunity for the UK climate services community to provide financial institutions with robust data on climate risk to ensure we create a climate resilient financial system. With more than 100 Mesh registrations already we have brought together such a wide range of people representing the diversity of the sector and green finance is just one business community of many that will benefit.”

Highlighting the opportunities for new partnerships and collaborations that Mesh will generate, Kristen Guida commented: “Climate change doesn’t respect geographical or sectoral boundaries, so coordination of knowledge exchange across sectors is crucial. It’s only through partnership work that you can fully understand opportunities, trade-offs, conflicts and potential unintended consequences of climate action.” Thanking guests for supporting the first Mesh networking event, Briony Turner, Climate Services Development Manager at Space4Climate, said: “We are genuinely overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to Mesh and we are already looking at a very busy programme around the country, giving everyone in climate services a real chance to expand their own professional networks locally without having to officially represent an organisation.”
Mesh has been established by Space4Climate, a public-private-academic partnership working collaboratively to ensure a seamless supply chain for trusted climate data from space and GCAP, which specialises in providing tailored adaptation solutions. NCEO is a partner in Space4Climate.

The next Mesh networking event is scheduled for February 21st, 2019, in Bristol.

To join the MESH networking group visit here

Briony Turner (Space4Climate), left, and Ben Smith (GCAP), right, shared a celebration cake with guests to mark the launch of the Mesh climate services networking group (Photo: Emma Sheppard).