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Global movement mobilising boards to address climate change marks rapid growth

Hughes Hall’s Climate Governance Initiative has grown from a presence in 4 countries to 71 countries in just 3 years.

  • The Climate Governance Initiative, a nonprofit created in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, has published its first Annual Report

  • It tells the story of the Initiative’s journey from the idea of creating a network for – and led by – board directors, to a flourishing network of 30 Chapters in 71 countries today

A global network dedicated to mobilising boards to accelerate the transition to net zero and build climate resilience, the Climate Governance Initiative, is now reaching more than 100,000 business leaders worldwide.

From the Asia Pacific to the Americas, this rapidly growing network is focused on driving impact that brings climate action into boardrooms across the globe.

Chairs, non-executive and independent directors on every inhabited continent are being equipped and encouraged to address climate change in their businesses by an international network of national associations, called Chapters, of the Climate Governance Initiative.


Julie Baddeley, Chair of the Governing Board, Climate Governance Initiative, welcomed the report: “From a small start-up into a well-established global network, the Climate Governance Initiative has grown exponentially in the past three years and I am immensely proud of its progress. Our ability to reach business leaders across 71 countries gives us a big opportunity to push for change and we do not take lightly our responsibility to do so.”

The Annual Report charts key milestones for the Initiative, from the establishment of its Secretariat at the Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, in 2020 to the creation of its Governing Board and Advisory Board, and the launch of its one-stop resource library, in 2023.

It also covers the Initiative’s Ambition 2025 to support the business community with the tools, skills and expertise to move from pledges to action to ensure the average global temperature rise does not exceed 1.5°C by 2050.

“The Climate Governance Initiative has ambitious goals that will make a real difference to the impact that boards can make to the climate crisis. Our network can create the stewardship mindset that is vital if we are to make the impactful changes required to mitigate and adapt to climate change.” said Alexandra Bolton, Director of the Climate Governance Initiative

From left: Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director, World Economic Forum; Julie Baddeley, Chair of the Climate Governance Initiative; and Alexandra Bolton, Director of the Climate Governance Initiative.

In the report, the Initiative and its Chapters set out how they have driven impact in the past three years by upskilling board directors, partnering with stock exchanges, engaging with policymakers, convening directors at international sustainability conferences and developing live events, podcasts and digital resources for board directors.

The World Economic Forum was a founding partner of the Initiative and its work builds on the Forum’s Principles for Effective Climate Governance.

Gim Huay Neo, Managing Director, the World Economic Forum said: “We are proud of the Climate Governance Initiative’s many achievements to date. Together, we support board directors in translating company vision and objectives into strategy, plans and action, catalysing innovative leadership in addressing the climate crisis.”

The Initiative is funded by the Hatton Trust and Conduit Trust, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation and the IKEA Foundation.

Further information

For the Climate Governance Initiative’s first Annual Report.

About the Climate Governance Initiative

The Climate Governance Initiative is a non-profit dedicated to mobilising boards to accelerate the transition to net zero and build climate resilience. We exist to develop and support a global network that empowers and mobilises board directors on every continent to take climate action by enhancing their knowledge and skills in climate governance. We are a rapidly growing global network with Chapters in over 70 countries worldwide, reaching more than 100,000 chairs, non-executive and independent directors.

About the Centre for Climate Engagement

The Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge plays a unique role in bringing leading academic research to a targeted non-executive director audience in a format that enables change. Established to rectify the lack of engagement in climate change mitigation in the corporate community, particularly boards and to support cutting edge research in climate law, governance, disclosure and organisational change, the priority areas for boards driving climate action. The Centre also provides the Secretariat for the Climate Governance Initiative.

Get in touch

Esme Montgomery Friedner | Communications Manager | Climate Governance Initiative