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Kenan Institute 2023 Grand Challenge: Workforce Disrupted
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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

Sustainability

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Students from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, in partnership with UNC's Program for Public Discourse, will gather to address the opportunities and risks of an environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG)-centered approach to financial decision-making.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Energy Center Director Stephen Arbogast discusses the power of carbon taxes to accomplish several goals for energy producers and consumers alike.

A daunting tangle of problems defines the global energy space as 2022 winds down. On the one hand, the war in the Ukraine combined with curtailed Russian oil/gas supplies into Europe has reminded many that unfriendly energy suppliers can also deliver inflation and hardship to their customers. On another side, efforts to increase oil/gas supplies both in Europe and globally, face stout resistance to anything that might further entrench hydrocarbons into national economies. Inflation is prompting monetary policies to tighten even as fiscal indiscipline continues via historically high government deficit spending. Concerns over climate change remain an article of faith among leaders of many countries. Other voices decry the folly of calls to suppress oil/gas production when greener alternatives are not ready to replace them. Electorates seem both confused and restless. The risk that they vote in leaders less insistent on decarbonizing economies is palpable.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Clinical Associate Professor of Finance Arzu Ozoguz discusses the SEC's anticipated new rules around sustainability.

Stephen Arbogast, Director of the Energy Center at the Kenan-Flagler Business School, offers an in-depth explanation of supply dynamics in global energy markets--and why oil and gas prices have been so chaotic.

Moving to a clean economy will require innovation across the board, said MIT Sloan School of Management’s Jacquelyn Pless, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, but it shouldn’t be presumed that environmental policy and the economy are at odds.

Can investing in polluting industries be a tool for fostering sustainability? Yes, according to research by Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow Jacquelyn Pless, and it may be more effective than divesting.

Pless, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, will discuss the degree to which divestment versus continued investment in polluting industries might help drive the transition to a cleaner economy.

Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard and his family will transfer ownership of the company – valued at roughly $3 billion – to two newly created environmental trusts. In this Kenan Commentary, we ask four questions to determine how Chouinard’s move fits into the framework of the institute’s annual theme, stakeholder capitalism, and whether a better comparison is the laudable but more common idea of an altruistic business owner.

A new personal gift from Bruce Van Saun, Citizens Financial Group Inc. chairman and CEO, and his wife, Kathleen (Katie) Van Saun, will support the Kenan Institute’s annual grand challenge. Starting in 2023, the three-year gift will support the institute’s Distinguished Fellows, who advance thought leadership around the grand challenge’s theme, a key issue that affects business and society. The program is making its debut this year with an exploration of stakeholder capitalism and ESG investing. The Van Sauns earned their MBAs from UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School in 1983 and were married in 1985.

UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Finance Professor Stephen Arbogast discusses why embargoes on Russian oil aren’t working, why renewable energy sources aren’t the fix and how the missing link in increasing production could stabilize Europe’s energy outlook.

Further embracing renewable energy sources can help in the long term, but short- and medium-term solutions will require other answers. Join us for a virtual discussion at 11 a.m. June 20 as Stephen Arbogast, Kenan-Flagler Business School Finance Professor and director of the Energy Center, talks with Chief Economist Gerald Cohen about how focusing on the global energy supply can help Europe select the best options for creating a more stable energy outlook.