John Firth

Senior Director Climate & Resilience Hub
Willis Towers Watson


John has nearly 30 years’ experience in assessing the impacts of climate change, overlapping with 28 years in the water industry (Severn Trent Water 1976-2004). He was the co-founder and CEO of Acclimatise (2004-2020) which was acquired by Willis Towers Watson in November 2020.
He has a particular expertise in the impacts of climate change on the business and financial services sectors (risks and opportunities); and is actively engaged on work related to the ‘Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures’ (TCFD). He has worked extensively on country National Adaptation Plans developing the linkages between non-state actors, government and politicians to create shared agendas for policy reform and action.
His interests include cross-boundary impacts, WASH, legal liability, disclosure of information to investors, the mobilisation of private-sector finance, climate funding in developing countries, loss and damage, and the integration of adaptation/resilience into national policy making. He has a particular interest in the value of Earth Observation satellite data to assess climate risk and opportunities to adapt and build resilience.
John has worked on projects in Europe, Africa, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, Australia, South and South-East Asia for banks, governments, insurers, investors, companies, development partners, NGOs and international organisations.
John has been an active participant in many advisory groups including the EU Taxonomy, Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, Climate Bonds Initiative, ‘Future Fens’, and was a founder member and Chair of the Global Centre of Excellence on Climate Adaptation Implementation Group (which became the Global Center on Adaptation).
John is a Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society, and the Royal Geographical Society. He is a Member of the American Meteorological Society and the Royal Town Planning Institute.