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Shaping the board’s strategic direction on climate

The Chairperson’s Perspective

We are in a decisive decade to accelerate action against climate change. Choices made over the next decade will impact the world for centuries to come, and business leaders must be advocates for taking action to address climate change within their organisation and beyond.

    The Chair’s Guide to Realising Value from a Just Transition

    The just transition is both a principle and process that aims to address the fact that climate-driven economic change may disrupt, transform, or eliminate entire industries, workforces and professions. Left unchecked, this could create unjust and enduring economic and social effects. The magnitude of change is not new. It is, however, happening faster than previously experienced, necessitating companies to approach the challenge in a different way to succeed.

    A just transition is not a ‘nice-to-have’ or a discretionary extra–it is a critical part of enabling change to occur. Principles of a just transition include fairness, inclusivity, and equitability in the shift towards a sustainable economy. If these principles are not employed, then the business’ transition in a climate-neutral economy could fail due to the resistance of those who feel unfairly impacted and disadvantaged. This should be embedded into corporate strategy to enable a thriving future.

    This report forms part of Deloitte’s suite of insights about climate and the boardroom, which includes guides for chairs navigating the climate transition, a collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

    Download a copy of The Chair’s Guide to Realising Value from a Just Transition

    Chair’s guide to climate action

    Climate change is a global emergency. One that will impact every person on Earth, and a challenge which will require collaboration across the public, private and financial sectors to address. Business leaders play a crucial role in the transition to a net-zero economy and are uniquely positioned to leverage their resources to collaborate and innovate on sustainability solutions across industries and disciplines.

    Boards play a vital role in guiding businesses and markets towards a more sustainable future. They provide leadership and direction to management, ensuring that long term views are captured in current decision-making. Boards must be properly educated in order to ask the right questions – know where to push and how to find robust solutions. The aim is to bring together the best practices from chairs who are leading the way on climate, to continue pushing ambitions and raise the bar for positive action.

    Deloitte, in association with the World Economic Forum and Climate Governance Initiative has designed guides to reveal key insights from chairs leading climate action, consider how key stakeholder groups are responding to a climate driven future and help chairs understand the decarbonisation roadmap.

    Four briefing papers have been published by the World Economic Forum and the Climate Governance Initiative as part of an ongoing series of thought leadership designed to enhance climate competence and steward climate action by board directors across the globe. Each paper raises the critical questions chairs and board members should be asking each other and their executive leadership teams. You can read more about the collaboration and the papers on Sharon Thorne’s blog for the World Economic Forum here.

    Download a copy of the Chair’s Guide to Climate Action

    Download the four World Economic Forum papers:

    Focuses on the role of board members as stewards of their organisations and their duty to oversee effective management of the just transition. It helps gain a strong understanding of the just transition and its impact on key stakeholder groups by asking guiding questions, and highlighting exciting opportunities presented by the just transition.

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    Summary of highlights from interviews with 16 members of the World Economic Forum's Community of Chairpersons on the topic of climate action. It explores key issues and best practices for board members across strategy, risk and opportunity, stakeholders, board competence and operations in relation to climate.

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    Spotlight on how key stakeholder groups are responding to climate change and how they might respond in the future. It helps navigate the complexities presented by a diverse stakeholder network and highlights the short-term trade-offs that boards will need to make.

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    Focuses on the role of chairpersons and boards in developing a robust climate mitigation strategy. Drawing on global case studies, the guide demonstrates the threats of not taking climate action, and the opportunities of embedding climate within company strategy.

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    Highlights from COP26 – how boards can build effective climate governance

    Hosted by the UK in late 2021, The COP26 summit brought parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. After 13 days of intense negotiations, COP26 concluded on Saturday 13th November 2021 with every Party at COP26 - representing almost 200 countries - agreeing the Glasgow Climate Pact. This global agreement will accelerate action on climate this decade, and finally completes the Paris Rulebook.

    Hear from Olivier Schwab, Managing Director at the World Economic Forum, and Sharon Thorne, Deloitte’s Global Chair, as they discuss the key takeaways of COP26 and how boards can build effective climate governance.

    Building effective climate governance

    Building effective climate governance on boards with Olivier Schwab, Managing Director, World Economic Forum & Sharon Thorne, Global Chair, Deloitte

    Just Transition panel highlights

    During Climate Week in New York, leading climate experts gather at the Deloitte offices to launch The Chairperson’s Guide to a Just Transition. Experts discuss the just transition, why it is important to company strategy, and the role of chairs as stewards of the transition.

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