The board’s role in climate oversight

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Here is a recommendation from Nawar Alsaadi about the board’s role in governing climate efforts:

I have reviewed a plethora of climate governance recommendations from a multitude of public and private entities over the years, but the climate governance and principles guidance by the World Economic Forum/PwC 2019 paper on the topic of boards and climate governance remains ‘my go to’ document on the matter. Right from the get-go, the paper makes it clear why climate is deserving of a unique governance approach:

‘On the one hand, good governance should intrinsically include effective climate governance. To this point, climate change is simply another issue that drives financial risk and opportunity, which boards inherently have the duty to address with the same rigour as any other board topic. On the other hand, climate change is a new and complex issue for many boards that entails grappling with scientific, macroeconomic and policy uncertainties across broad time scales and beyond board terms. In this regard, general governance guidance is not necessarily sufficiently detailed or nuanced for effective board governance of climate issues.’

I strongly recommend anyone serving on a board of directors, or engaging with board of directors on their climate governance to familiarize themselves with the 8 proposed climate governance principles highlighted in the paper. For those familiar with my Net Zero Russian nesting dolls schematic, the WEF climate governance guidance would sit at the core of the structure. Without a robust climate governance and accountability structure in place, no climate policy or strategy can withstand the test of time.