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Climate Change Engagement 

 

Climate change is
probably the most important challenge for society today. The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement was established to increase awareness of climate change mitigation and adaptation on the boards of private companies and the need for urgent action.

Climate Change Engagement 


Climate change is
probably the most important challenge for society today. The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement was established to increase awareness of  climate change mitigation and adaptation on the boards of private companies and the need for urgent action.

The effects of climate change are already reaching key thresholds that will adversely impact upon sustainable development. The need for education and action for climate mitigation, adaptation and finance has never been more urgent; individual citizens, corporations, non-governmental organisations and governments all have a role to play.

Our Mission

To engage the corporate and financial sectors at the highest level (involving chairs, non-executive directors and senior executives) together with government, and academics and others within civil society.

 

To encourage scholarship in legal, regulatory, financial and other levers that will enable the scaling up of action across the corporate sector.

 

Boardrooms – a Catalyst for Change

This situation is especially acute within the boardrooms of listed companies where (with few exceptions) board members not yet engaged sufficiently with the climate agenda. Many boards have not given it the priority that it deserves, and some have not discussed it at all. Although the UK’s share of worldwide emissions is small and reducing, UK business has a global reach through its supply chains and provision of capital and can have a far more significant impact in terms of tackling climate change.

The financial sector, banks and investors, are equally crucial. They, with company boards, must address these issues in a comprehensive fashion to bring benefits to their own businesses and shareholders and to allow them to contribute to a growing green economy.

The Centre will provide general guidance and toolkits that might be of assistance to boards and non-executive directors, but it will explicitly not seek to provide consultancy services or direct educational activity.

Establishment of NED Network

Business action within the next decade, well within the long-term planning horizon of most large companies, is vital to the achievement of these changes. Hence, a major part of our work so far has been to act as the catalyst and key sponsor for the development of a network of non-executive directors of UK listed businesses, as part of the World Economic Forum Climate Governance Initiative. This network, Chapter Zero, is for chairs, committee chairs and non-executive directors who are interested in accessing high quality research and practical tools on climate change, as well as sharing the best practice Board-level response.

Levers

A general focus of the Centre will be on how levers may best be used to get the boards of corporate organisations to accelerate action. The emphasis will be on the role of law and regulation, of reporting requirements for corporations, and of how the financial sector including banks and investors might be used to exert influence on corporations. We also need a better understanding of the proper balance between the use of “sticks” and “carrots” as levers; and of techniques of persuasion using insights of marketing and psychology.

Working Together to Combat Climate Change

Industry

Companies will, through board leadership, increase their actions to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change by addressing their own individual risks and liabilities; to shape future regulatory frameworks; and to participate in a growing global green economy.

Hughes Hall

The College will as part of its Bridge project have a platform to facilitate the participation of graduate students, senior members and alumni, and thus engage the next generation of academics and business leaders in taking action on climate.

Academia

Academia will increase its research impact by informing changes in legal, regulatory and other systems to support climate mitigation and adaptation, and by translating insights to enable businesses to contribute more effectively to the sustainable development agenda.

The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change, creating conversations for change with: