Collaboration between the Climate Governance Initiative and the World Economic Forum reaches Central America and the Caribbean

06 July 2022
Mauren esquivel
  • The regional forum will feature representatives from major business boards and will join a network of 21 chapters, made up of more than 100.000 members.

San Jose, June 30, 2022-. The Climate Governance Initiative (CGI), a project in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, reaches Central America and the Caribbean and announces the establishment of the regional chapter, CGI CAC, which is integrated into a global network with more of 100.000 members in 30 countries, to which CGI CAC adds 22 countries. The chapter is chaired by its founder Ileana Salas; the co-founding partners are Rodrigo Zamora (Director of the LAFISE Group), INCAE (Central American Institute of Business Administration) and the IntegraRSE Network.

CGI seeks to guide the boards of directors of companies in the management of climate governance, recognizing that it is a fundamental aspect of good corporate governance, and for this it proposes eight principles that businesses should follow in a climate risk management environment: climate responsibility on boards, mastery of the topic, board structure, relevant risk and opportunity assessment, strategic integration, incentives, reporting and outreach, and, lastly, knowledge sharing.

As Ileana Salas explains, this is a "call to action" for the community of corporate board members to incorporate the eight principles of Climate Governance and contribute to the strategic climate debate while driving comprehensive decision-making that considers the links between climate change and business. “Effective climate governance offers tangible opportunities for business development, such as boosting competitiveness, access to new markets and the opening of new lines of business, reputational benefits and the identification, prevention and management of risks that the climate crisis could imply in the future, among others”commented Rodrigo Zamora, Director of the LAFISE Group.

The recently created chapter in Central America and the Caribbean, CGI CAC, invites board members to join the directors' initiative and participate in regional and international training activities. Currently, CGI is made up of more than 100,000 members in 21 chapters established around the world and generates a relevant impact on companies on climate change issues. CGI CAC —of which the allies Consortium Legal, ULACIT and Próxima Comunicación are also part—, expects to have at least two members of each of the main boards of directors in the region among its participants.

According to María Alicia Urbaneja, Director of IntegraRSE, the idea is that these Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) are invigorating and promoting strategies for mitigating and adapting business models to the challenges imposed by climate change. In this sense, the eight Climate Governance Principles of the World Economic Forum, more than prescriptive mandates, are guiding principles that would guide the strategic debate and decision-making of companies.

“We are at a turning point that will define which will be the winning companies that adapt to international changes in terms of emissions regulation and climate action. There are those who think that the region represents a minuscule percentage in relation to global emissions and that is why we should not worry; however, if you want to take advantage of the opportunities to implement a carbon neutrality strategy to meet the 2030 and 2050 goals, the time to act is now. The risk –and cost– of remaining inactive will be to be increasingly relegated from an economic model that aims to have greater environmental responsibility”, pointed out Octavio Martínez, Director of the Latin American Center for Competitiveness and Sustainable Development, CLACDS, of INCAE.

Some examples of the international trends that will impact the region are the proposal for the Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on due diligence in matters of corporate sustainability and the new accountability parameters of the International Financial Reporting Standards to require that capital market guidelines are clearer in terms of sustainability and emissions regulation. On the other hand, the regulation of capital markets related to environmental, social and governance issues in the US, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region demonstrate a global trend from which the region will not escape in the short and medium term. term.

For Salas, it is clear that in a short time Central America and the Caribbean will also have to comply with zero emission criteria to obtain international financing, export goods and services and take advantage of the new business opportunities offered by climate change. In the medium term, those who operate in the region will have to report the environmental impact of their value chain to access international buyers, therefore, it is better for companies to have duly prepared members within their boards of directors.

The regional initiative foresees that within the work agenda it will be of special relevance to address the vulnerability and physical risk of Central America and the Caribbean in relation to climate change, therefore, it will be very important to have an exhaustive sectoral approach that contemplates highly economic activities. exposed to the ravages of the climate crisis, such as the agricultural, export, financial, insurance, tourism and construction sectors, among others.

The Central America and the Caribbean chapter invites the members of the Boards of Directors to join the initiative and accompany the vision of its founders so that the region advances more and more towards a sustainable economy. CGI will hold the second global summit on October 12, 2022, a virtual event that will be held for 24 hours.

In this link You can rewatch the Webinar: Climate Governance, Capital and Trade in the XNUMXst Century, a virtual event in which the Central American and Caribbean Climate Governance Initiative was presented.

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Press contact: Jéssica Montero, Next Communication: · +506 6055-5205