APAC Launch- Primer on Climate Change: Director's Duties and Disclosure Obligations
Time & Location
About the Event
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 “reasonable 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?
To provide directors with clear answers to these questions, 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 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.
This event is organised by the Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative and the Climate Governance Initiative, and endorsed by the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Welcome from Sunita Rajakumar of Board Director, Founder & Chair, Climate Governance Malaysia (2 min)
Welcome from David McElrea of the Australian Institute of Corporate Directors (2 min)
Welcome from Singapore Institute of Directors (2 min)
“Directors Responsibilities in a Rapidly Evolving Legal Landscape of Climate Risks” (60 min)
Panel discussion with:
Amar Gill, MD Stewardship, Asia-Pacific, BlackRock
Sarah Barker, Partner, Minter Ellison (also author of the Primer’s Australia section)
Sunita Rajakumar, Board Director, Founder & Chair, Climate Governance Malaysia
Moderator: Shai Ganu, Global Practice Leader, Remuneration, Willis Towers Watson and non-executive director
About the Contributors
MD Stewardship, APAC, BlackRock
Amar is Managing Director and Head of Investment Stewardship in APAC for BlackRock, joining the company in 2018. He worked for 22+ years with a leading regional securities company, CLSA, an industry leader for independent equities research. Gill was Head of Asia Research at CLSA following roles as head of equities research for Malaysia, then Hong Kong as well as heading regional thematic research. Gill has been a pioneer in corporate governance research, writing nine regional reports over 2001 to 2014 for CLSA working in collaboration with the Asian Corporate Governance Association (ACGA). He is presently on the Asia advisory group of the Young Investors Society as well as Climate Action 100+.
Sarah leads the climate and sustainability risk governance team in the Asia-Pacific's largest commercial law firm, MinterEllison, and is a director of one of Australia's largest superannuation funds, the Victorian state government's $30 billion Emergency Services & State Super. She has more than two decades' experience as a corporate lawyer, and is regarded as one of the world's foremost experts on climate change governance, finance and liability risks. She is a faculty member of the non-executive directors’ programme at the Cambridge University’s Institute for Sustainability Leadership, is an academic visitor at the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at Oxford University, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative.
Board Director; Founder & Chair, Climate Governance Malaysia
Sunita is a professional independent director and a strong advocate of the importance of governance in general and risk management in particular. She founded Climate Governance Malaysia which is the country chapter of the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative, is a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia, promotes gender diversity on boards with the 30% Club, is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Nottingham University's School of Business, the Advisory Panel of the UN Global Compact Malaysia’s Sustainability Center of Excellence and Workstream Lead for Government Policy at the CEO Action Network, an industry led initiative to increase sustainability and climate resilience. She is an independent director of Bursa-listed companies Dutch Lady Milk Industries and Berjaya Corporation; as well as MCIS Insurance (a member of the Sanlam group) and Zurich General Insurance, and serves as trustee of 5 charitable foundations.
Global Leader, Executive Compensation & Governance, Willis Towers Watson
Shai is the global leader of Willis Towers Watson’s Executive Compensation practice and its Talent & Rewards business across ASEAN and South Asia. Shai is a Board member of the Singapore Institute of Directors (SID), chairs its Partnerships Committee, and serves on its ESG committee. He is a fellow and faculty member at SID, Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia (ICDM) and other NED associations in the region – and regularly conducts training for board members on Remuneration, Nomination, Governance, Talent Management, and ESG matters. He also serves as an independent non-executive director on Boards and HR Committees of leading companies and not-for-profit organizations in the region.