Climate Crisis Requires Boards to Put Climate Transition at the Heart of Corporate Strategy, Says International Network of Board Directors


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WASHINGTON, DC (November 2, 2021)— As the global UN COP26 climate talks commence in Glasgow, Scotland, 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 today, 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 upskill to confront the climate emergency. 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 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," emphasizing the critical role of board directors in the transition to a net-zero future.

Karina Litvack, chair of the Climate Governance Initiative said:

"We welcome the fact that growing numbers of directors around the world have understood the gravity of the climate crisis and have committed to taking a leadership role in improving climate governance on their boards. We represent an important new wave of climate champions who have significant influence, and we are ready to step up to accelerate the pace of change needed to deliver a net-zero economy in our lifetime."

Peter Gleason, president and CEO of NACD said: "American companies will play a critical role in achieving ambitious climate goals. Therefore, boards, as stewards of the company, will have a key part in fighting the adverse effects of climate change on our planet, our economy, our health, and our livelihood. NACD is committed to equipping directors to be pivotal players in this paramount endeavor."

The Climate Governance Initiative statement says 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 their business strategy is resilient in a zero emissions future and that the executive team has the skills to deliver it." The Climate Governance Initiative gives board directors the skills 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.
Local director networks that make up the Climate Governance Initiative, known as chapters, are "building a community of climate conscious directors who are committed to developing the skills, processes, and understanding necessary to fulfill their fiduciary duties in the long-term service of their organizations."

Read the full statement here:


Supporting Chapters and Chapter Hosts
Australian Institute of Company Directors, host of Climate Governance Initiative Australia
Chapter Zero Brazil
Chapter Zero Brussels
Chapter Zero Canada
Institute of Corporate Directors, host of Chapter Zero Canada
Chapter Zero Chile
Chapter Zero France
Climate Governance Initiative Germany
Chapter Zero Italy
Climate Governance Malaysia
Chapter Zero México
Boards Impact Forum
Chapter Zero Poland
Responsible Business Forum, host of Chapter Zero Poland
Chapter Zero Romania
Asociatia Administratorilor Independenti, host of Chapter Zero Romania
Climate Governance Initiative Russia
Climate Governance Singapore
Chapter Zero Switzerland
Chapter Zero, the UK Chapter
Centre for Climate Engagement, host of Chapter Zero, the UK Chapter
National Association of Corporate Directors, host of the US Chapter

Additional Supporters
African Corporate Governance Network
Cercle des Administrateurs
European Confederation of Directors Associations
Institute of Corporate Directors, Malaysia
Institute of Directors, India
Institute of Directors, Kenya
Institute of Directors, New Zealand
Institute of Directors, South Africa
Institut Français des Administratrices et des Administrateurs engagés, France
Myanmar Institute of Directors
Singapore Institute of Directors
Swiss Institute of Directors
Vietnamese Institute of Directors

About the Climate Governance Initiative
The Climate Governance Initiative mobilizes boards of directors around the world to address climate change in their businesses. We do this by developing and supporting national associations that equip their members with the skills and knowledge needed to make climate a boardroom priority building on the World Economic Forum's Principles for Effective Climate Governance.
The collective membership of the Climate Governance Initiative is over 100,000 individuals who influence trillions of dollars of capital through the companies they serve.
The Climate Governance Initiative is hosted by the Centre for Climate Engagement at Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge, which provides the role of secretariat.
Find out more:

About NACD
For more than 40 years, NACD has been on the leading edge of corporate governance, setting standards of excellence that have elevated board performance. NACD arms today's directors with insights and education that drive their mission forward, while preparing a new generation of boardroom leaders to meet tomorrow's biggest challenges. NACD is a community of more than 22,000 directors driven by a common purpose: to be trusted catalysts of economic opportunity and positive change—in businesses and in the communities they serve. To learn more about NACD, visit

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Susan Oliver