Dr Kevin Parker


Dr Kevin Parker - Science and Economics Adviser

Kevin started his career with a bang by blowing up a laboratory at the University of Cambridge while studying for his PhD. Some 40 years later, he runs a training and consultancy company helping start-up companies and individuals achieve their promise. He has completed 500 assignments in this area since 1995. His company’s clients have included 19 Russell Group Universities, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, departments of the UK and Scottish Governments, and various charities including the Episcopal Church of Scotland.

He has won awards for industrial research at British Petroleum, literally ‘sold oil to the Arabs’, delivered finance training to accountants, devised and delivered Undergrad for the Royal Society of Chemistry, learned polite words of greeting in Slovenian, trained over 3000 students in transferable/business skills, and run 22 Cub Scout camps. He has been a mentor for the Princes Trust, the UKRI YES competition, the STEM Ambassador schools programme, and over 100 individual young people.

He has been a long-standing collaborator and Associate of Z/Yen since its founding, working on technology, energy, finance, and green projects for a variety of major commercial and NGO clients. In 2001 he co-authored a peer-reviewed paper with Professor Michael Mainelli ‘Great Mistakes in Technology Commercialisation’ critically examining the obstacles around getting new technology to market. This influential paper, reviewed in a recent webinar, is still being cited in 2023.

In 2005, Kevin performed the first estimates of 'Unburnable' Carbon when Z/Yen pointed out that fossil fuel reserves, if burnt, were likely to produce extremely high CO2 levels. Subsequent work by Z/Yen and others, has estimated that the potential carbon in current fossil fuel reserves is five to ten times higher than current IPCC carbon budgets. This work is being updated into a peer reviewed paper in 2023.

In 2009 he provided the science input, and presented the first public paper, on Z/Yen’s concept of ‘Policy Performance Bonds’ or ‘Sovereign Sustainability-Linked Bonds’ (SSLB): This concept finally came to fruition in late 2022, with the first SSLBs successfully issued by the governments of Chile and Uruguay. SSLB’s could potentially allow poorer countries to access significant capital flows for Green projects. Kevin continues to work on economic issues for Z/Yen, including reports on the Global Financial Centres Index (GFCI).

Kevin has Chemistry degrees from Edinburgh and Cambridge Universities, is a Chartered Chemist and Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has an MSc/MBA from the Sloan Fellowship programme of London Business School.

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