Posted in: reports

4th November 2016

Paris Entry Into Force: Corporate Boards Can Catalyze Climate Action

As the Paris Agreement enters into force, governments, businesses and international institutions gathering at COP22 are looking at the tangible steps to take to ensure a just transition to a net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions economy before the end of the century. For business leaders, the impetus for action has never been stronger. The world is shifting, the risks associated with climate change are too high, and the opportunities to be seized from the transition are too great to delay.

In the face of this shifting corporate ecosystem, The B Team is a strong proponent of climate competent boardrooms. A climate competent boardroom is one with knowledgeable and forceful “Climate Champions”, coupled with a board that is generally educated and informed on the risks and opportunities presented by climate change to the company. To help companies assess their own board's climate competence, and work towards a fully climate competent board The B Team has prepared a new brief for business leaders.

This brief is intended to help business leaders understand: (1) why climate competence in corporate boardrooms is good for business and necessary to make the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions during the first half of the 21st century; (2) the actions “Climate Champions” and climate competent boards must take; and (3) what they, as business leaders, can do next.

The transition to net-zero emissions for companies will require sweeping action, at all levels of the business: the top-down strategic direction must be set by the board and the bottom-up technical implementation must be carried out throughout the company. Companies will not make the required technical and strategic decisions if they don’t have climate competent boards, which understand the risks and opportunities to their company from climate change.