Board chiefs to dwell on climate dilemma at first global summit

Board chiefs to dwell on climate dilemma at first global summit
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KUALA LUMPUR (March 20): The global economy will need to spend US$1 trillion each year to move towards a carbon-neutral or net-zero state, according to the International Energy Agency.

Are capital markets ready to confront the risk posed to global systemic financial stability arising from the pressure to respond to climate change?

This question will be addressed in a virtual panel discussion involving leaders of international financial institutions entitled “The Role of Capital Markets in Driving the Transition Towards a Carbon Zero Economy”.

The event is a highlight of the first Global Summit on Climate Governance, which will be held from March 23-26. The virtual caucus is organised and hosted by the national chapters of the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum.

All sessions of the summit are open to the public and admission is free.

The summit will convene board members, regulators, experts, academia and corporate governance leaders, a note on the event states. They will discuss what steps to take to reduce the risk of a climate emergency.

Former US vice president Al Gore will address the opening session of the summit, which will hear from company chairs who are influencing their boards’ strategic approaches to corporate climate action.

The summit will reinforce the role of non-executive directors in steering climate action accountability on corporate boards, the organisers said.

Eminent corporate leaders from Chile, the UK, Brazil, Germany and Malaysia will share their experiences on the barriers they face in fulfilling that responsibility.

Petronas president and group CEO Tengku Muhammed Taufik joins an industry panel discussing the theme: “Achieving Net Zero: Global Oil and Gas” on March 25.

“We are on a journey where there is no silver bullet,” say Climate Governance Malaysia volunteers Purnima Joshi and Datin Seri Sunita Rajakumar in a commentary to highlight the summit.

Sunita, who is the Independent Non-executive Chairman of the Caring Pharmacy Group, is the founder of CGM, which is the first Asian country chapter of the CGI. The Malaysian chapter will be hosting and partnering many of the summit’s sessions.

“We want to learn from one another and be inspired by the trailblazers who are leading the charge in addressing climate risks in their businesses,” said Purnima and Sunita about the speakers who are scheduled to address the summit.

These businesses are seizing what has been described as the most significant transformation in economic history, they said.

“Finding optimal solutions will require constant iteration and refinement. There will be unintended consequences, and we need to decide which side of climate history we want to be on. But it is already clear that tremendous value will be created and those businesses which are ready to seize this unprecedented opportunity stand to be the beneficiaries,” said the writers in their commentary.

Many of the largest businesses in the world have already committed to ensuring zero-carbon emission from their operations, the generation of the power they use and in the global supply chain, they said.

Next, business leaders are recognising that commercial goals and government policies should ideally be aligned, striking the right balance between economic, energy, and climate priorities, the writers said.

Among the prominent speakers in the 20 online sessions are: Andrea Illy (Chair, Illycaffè), Claudio Descalzi (CEO, Eni), Diva Moriani (Board Member, Generali and Moncler, Vice-Chair, Intek), Edgar Tung (COO, Esquel Group), Emanuela Trentin (CEO, Siram-Veolia), Lavinia Biagiotti Cigna (Chair and CEO, Biagiotti Group), Mark Tucker (Chair, HSBC Holdings), Nigel Topping (High-Level Climate Champions for Climate Action), Punit Renjen (Global CEO, Deloitte), Roberto Marques (Chair, Natura & Co) and Vicki Hollub (CEO, Occidental Petroleum).

Those interested can register at http://climate-governance.org/global-summit-schedule