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Climate Governance Initiative calls for action

Climate crisis requires global boards to put net zero at the heart of business strategy, says the Climate Governance Initiative

Set up in association with the World Economic Forum in 2019, the Climate Governance Initiative network represents over 100,000 board directors across more than 20 major economies, with the capability to influence trillions of dollars of capital through the companies they serve. The Initiative is hosted by the Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall, which provides the role of secretariat, and hosts the UK Chapter of the Initiative, Chapter Zero.

As the global UN COP26 climate talks commence in Glasgow, the international Climate Governance Initiative (CGI) has called on board directors across the world to place the climate transition at the heart of corporate strategy and board decision-making. In a statement released yesterday (2.11.21) and printed in the Financial Times, the CGI points to warnings from Mark Carney and others that the climate crisis poses the ‘single greatest threat to global financial stability’ and urges board directors to rapidly skill up in order to confront the climate emergency.

The statement notes that the impact of the climate crisis ‘will be felt by all companies, posing major short, medium and long-term risks and requiring boards to put climate change at the heart of their strategy, risk management and disclosure processes.’

It calls on board directors to ‘play a part in the global response to climate change’, emphasising the critical role of board directors in the transition to a net-zero future.

Julie Baddeley, Co-Director, Centre for Climate Engagement, Chair of the Board, Chapter Zero and Governing Board member, Climate Governance Initiative said: ‘It’s encouraging to see the surge in net zero commitments from businesses in recent months. But we are facing an unprecedented global crisis to which no individual, and no business will be immune, and these ambitions now need to be turned into action. Non-executive board directors have a vital role to play in making sure this happens.’

The Climate Governance Initiative statement states that ‘now is a crucial time for boards to be engaging with the impacts of climate change and making long-term plans for the future. This includes ensuring that their business strategy is resilient in a zero emissions future and the executive team has the skills to deliver it.’  The Climate Governance Initiative gives board directors the skills they need to advocate for their companies to accelerate their net-zero journey, by drawing on the eight Climate Governance Principles published by the World Economic Forum.

Read the full statement here: https://climate-governance.org/cop26-statement/.

For more information, email climate@hughes.cam.ac.uk.

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Copy by Rachel Allen, Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Engagement.