The worldwide economic slowdown has offered an opportunity to reflect on the green transition.
On 29 April 2020, Julie Baddeley, Chair of Chapter Zero, the Directors' Climate Forum (an organisation of more than 750 UK chair and non-executive director members, which aims to help non-executive directors engage with the potential risks and opportunities for businesses and take this discussion into their boardrooms), published an open letter in the Financial Times encouraging directors to join Chapter Zero and work on emerging from Covid-19 “better equipped and ready to deal with the climate change challenge”. Julie Baddeley’s call to action: “Let’s build back better together”. On 1 June 2020, some 200 companies banded together in a letter to the UK government calling for future financial assistance for businesses to be conditional on their alignment with net zero targets.
Even during the pandemic shareholders have sought to effect corporate change by organised shareholder action and pushing for sustainable and climate-conscious resolutions at annual meetings. For example, recent shareholder action at Rio Tinto, JPMorgan and JB Hunt have pointed to the lack of green investment as the market transitions to favour industries with more progressive climate policy.
Clyde & Co is running a virtual legal hackathon between 1 July and 4 August 2020 in partnership with The Chancery Lane Project. This post is part of a series of updates posted during the hackathon on business-relevant climate initiatives and innovative solutions to some of the challenges arising from climate change.