Insightful discussion on climate change and net zero with Jeremy Oppenheim and Paul van Zyl

The IPCC’s recent assessment found that human activity is changing the climate in unprecedented and sometimes irreversible ways. This landmark UN study – deemed a “code Red for humanity” – is unequivocal about global heating affecting every region on earth, and warns of a key temperature limit being broken in just over a decade.

While the window to limit the rise in temperature to 1.5C is closing fast the UN’s Secretary General believes that ‘if we combine forces now, we can avert climate catastrophe’, adding that ‘there is no time for delay, and no room for excuses.’ The opportunity for a rapid transformation to a net-zero global economy is narrow – but it exists… What will it take for us to get there?

At this in-person session, Conduit Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer Paul van Zyl joins the economist, business adviser, and Co-Founder of SYSTEMIQ Jeremy Oppenheim to explore solutions to the biggest challenge of our time, taking account of the actions that are required most urgently and widely

Together, they will highlight priority areas to step up the transition to a net-zero world, and discuss ways to achieve “positive tipping points” as a result of accelerated progress. The event will kickstart a series of conversations we’ll be taking forward at The Conduit on the tangible actions and shifts required from all of us to turn the tide on climate change.


Jeremy Oppenheim is an economist, business adviser and convener of coalitions driven by one simple idea: tackling the big challenges of our times requires urgent structural change to our economic systems.

This requires new levels of collaboration across business, government, and civil society, which Jeremy drives through his roles as Global Principal of the Food and Land Use Commission, a partnership committed to transforming the way we produce food and use land; and as Chair of the Blended Finance Taskforce, a consortium of public and private actors who mobilise capital to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Jeremy is lead author of the Better Growth, Better Climate report of the New Climate Economy project and the Better Business, Better World report of the Business & Sustainable Development Commission. He is a member of the National Food Advisory Panel for England and Chair of the non-profit, Global Action Plan. Previously, Jeremy spent more than 20 years at McKinsey, developing and leading its Sustainability and Resource Productivity Practice. A former Senior Economist from the World Bank (1988-1993), he holds a first-class degree from Cambridge University in Law and Economics (1984) and a Masters’ Degree in Public Administration (1986) from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

In 2016, Jeremy co-founded SYSTEMIQ, a B-Corporation dedicated to accelerating delivery of the Paris Agreement and UN SDGs by transforming markets, business models, and asset classes in four economic systems: nature; energy; finance and materials (especially plastics). With more than 270 people in the UK, Germany, the Netherlands, Indonesia and Brazil, SYSTEMIQ combines cutting-edge research with corporate strategy advice, policy insights, and high-impact, hands-on projects. SYSTEMIQ manages a focused pool of disruptive capital from mission-aligned investors and works globally and locally to help partners anticipate, shape, and create value in the new economy.


Paul van Zyl is a Co-Founder of The Conduit and its Chief Creative Officer. The Conduit serves as a home for a diverse community of people passionate about social change.

Having grown up in apartheid South Africa, Paul trained as a human rights lawyer and went on to serve as the Executive Secretary of South Africa’s post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He then co-founded the International Centre for Transitional Justice, an organisation that works in over 40 countries that have endured massive human rights violations under repression and in conflict.

Paul is also a Co-Founder and CEO of Maiyet, an ethical luxury fashion brand that cultivates traditional design and culture by partnering with global artisans.

He has received the Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and served on its Global Agenda Council on Fragile States, and is a London Tech Week Changemaker.

He holds a law degree from University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, an LLM in international law from University of Leiden, an LLM from New York University, and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Santa Clara School of Law.