CNBC Debate

Heat and ICE: Investment, Climate, and Economics

Saturday, 4 May 2024, 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm (Asia/Tbilisi)
Biltmore Hotel, The Guild


The CNBC Debate highlighted the wide-ranging impacts of glacial melt, especially water stress, infrastructure damage, and economic displacement. As heat thresholds are crossed, experts shared their perspectives on how countries can find lasting, sustainable solutions, with focus on policies, innovative climate technologies, and investments.


Warren EvansSpecial Senior Advisor (Climate Change), ADB 

As ADB’s climate envoy in the Office of the President, Warren Evans focuses on scaling up and accelerating ADB investments in climate actions, reinforcing capacity development for climate change operations, and strengthening ADB’s external climate partnerships. He has over 40 years of sustainable development and climate change experience including as director-environment at World Bank, where he led the establishment of the Climate Investment Funds and numerous climate and biodiversity conservation initiatives (2003-2013); and in ADB as its first director for environment and social safeguards (1988-2003). He holds a doctorate in cleaner production and climate change policy from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, a master’s degree in environmental health engineering from the University of Kansas, and a bachelor’s in ecology from Kansas State University in the United States.

Jeff GoodellAuthor and Investigative Journalist

Jeff Goodell specializes in climate change and its impact on humanity. His latest book, The Heat Will Kill You First: Life and Death on a Scorched Planet, debuted at #6 on The New York Times bestseller list. Mr. Goodell also delved into rising ocean levels in The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Reshaping of the Civilized World. As a contributing writer at Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Magazine and Yale University’s Environment 360, Mr. Goodell’s work spans over two decades. A 2020 Guggenheim fellow, his work has been recognized by the American Meteorological Society, New America, and the inaugural Covering Climate Change Now Journalism Awards for Feature Writing. He is a senior fellow at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center and serves on the board of the McHarg Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He is a prominent speaker on climate-related topics such as extreme heat, sea level rise, geoengineering, and America’s energy future.

Pam PearsonAmbition on Melting Ice High-level Group Secretariat and Director, International Cryosphere Climate Initiative 

Pam Pearson is a former US diplomat with 20 years of experience working on global issues, including nonproliferation, climate change, the Global Environment Facility, and multilateral development bank environmental policies. She served in postings to Ecuador, Sweden, Norway; and worked in Central Asia with USAID to design some of its earliest environmental health programs there. She was part of the Kyoto Protocol climate negotiating team, and later served as the US focal point to the Global Fund on AIDS. Pam founded the International Cryosphere Climate Initiative in 2010 to bring greater attention and policy focus to the rapid changes occurring to cryosphere regions.

Leki WangmoFinance Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Bhutan 

Leki Wangmo mobilizes resources for Bhutan’s development by collaborating with diverse partners. Previously at Druk Holding and Investments (DHI), she deployed innovative financing structures working in business development, investments, legal, and financial structuring. As leader of the investment team at the National Pension and Provident Fund, she managed substantial assets and implemented a robust risk management framework. She sits on the board of various companies and has chaired board committees, most notably focused on audit. Holding an MBA in finance from the Australian National University, she approaches public service with an entrepreneurial and corporate mindset.


Dan MurphyCNBC Anchor and Correspondent

Dan Murphy is based in the United Arab Emirates, reporting on business, markets, economics, and geopolitics of the Middle East region; and global news and asset markets to bridge the Asian and European trading days. He hosts CNBC’s Capital Connection. He helped launch the Middle East bureaus in 2018. Mr. Murphy also hosts industry panels on pandemic crisis and recovery, banking and finance, the energy markets, diversity, equity and inclusion, and women in leadership in the Arab world. He also regularly writes for He spent 3 years at CNBC in Singapore and previously worked for Sky News, covering national and international news and business from Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth.