Legal Primer on the duties and obligations of board directors will be launched on 28th June at 13:00-14:15 CEST during 4 coordinated events across the Americas.
The event will be hosted by Chapter Zero France and Chapter Zero in the UK, and moderated by Robert Abbot of CZ France. It will feature one legal expert (Ellie Mulholland, lead author of the Primer), one investor (Mirza Baig, Aviva Investors) and myself as a director, with Gillian Karran-Cumberlege of our UK Chapter giving brief concluding remarks. The Primer covers 20 countries, evenly split between Common Law and Civil Law jurisdictions, plus the EU, which stands out as the leader in terms of how its disclosure legislation has driven boards to go beyond mere compliance with disclosure rules and understand the strategic implications of climate change. This Primer helps tie this all together, by showing how classic legal duties, disclosure rules and financial sector pressure all come together to drive better behaviours.
Climate change has moved from an ethical or environmental issue to a critical consideration in the way boards oversee risk management, strategy and corporate disclosure. Yet many directors are unaware of how this risk relates to their legal duties and disclosure obligations, often assuming that by pursuing a zero-carbon business strategy, they may need to “leave profitable business on the table” and in so doing, face the risk of removal or litigation. In fact, the legal landscape has evolved considerably in the last few years, and continues to do so every day as new regulations, laws and litigation around the world continually redefine what directors should do.
In light of this very fluid context, how should directors interpret their legal obligations? Do these duties vary significantly across jurisdictions? Is a high standard of transparency enough? How is the concept of the “presto si le director” being redefined in a world where the scientific and financial communities increasingly regard climate change as the single-greatest systemic risk facing the global economy? How do these trends impact the standard of care implicit in directors’ duty of care?
To provide directors with clear answers to these questions, [optional: your organisation’s name and] the global community of the Climate Governance Initiative has teamed up with the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative to produce a global Primer on directors’ duties and obligations as they relate to climate change, looking at common universal trends across 21 key jurisdictions, including the EU27. Please join us for the launch webinar for the EMEA region, where a panel of legal, director and investor experts will share insights on the climate-related legal risks and duties that board directors must understand and act upon in order to steer their companies to resilience and commercial success in a zero-carbon world.