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Climate governance platform launched for business leaders in Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia

By Vanora Bennett

  • EBRD backs establishment of new chapter within Climate Governance Initiative partnership
  • Kyiv School of Economics to host latest chapter of global network Chapter Zero
  • Aim is to promote understanding and adoption of effective climate governance

Board members and executives of financial and non-financial corporations from Ukraine, Georgia and Armenia can from today join a new chapter of a global network promoting the understanding and adoption of effective climate governance.

Hosted by the Kyiv School of Economics (KSE), Chapter Zero Ukraine & Caucasus is the latest to launch under the umbrella of the Climate Governance Initiative (CGI), which works in collaboration with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and is supported by the EBRD.

CGI’s global network of more than 20 national and regional chapters promotes the adoption of the Principles for Effective Climate Governance published by the WEF. Established in 2019, CGI aims to equip its members with skills and knowledge to make addressing climate change a boardroom priority.

The new chapter will help business leaders from Ukraine and the Caucasus region to share knowledge and exchange experiences on climate-related risks, governance, and disclosure frameworks and how they can shape corporate strategy and investment as businesses move strategically towards a net zero economy.

Ukrainian, Georgian and Armenian companies that are able to demonstrate that they follow sustainable business practices already attract foreign investment more easily. Chapter Zero Ukraine & Caucasus will focus on spreading this practical knowledge and expertise on climate governance to connect businesses in these countries more strongly to international markets and capital.

Karina Litvack, Chairman of the Climate Governance Initiative, said: “Confronting the climate challenge at a time of war in Ukraine and regional turbulence in Armenia and Georgia might seem a tall order - but the alternative is worse. Getting this right now is critical both to the success of Ukraine’s reconstruction, and to the development of a competitive and resilient economy in Armenia and Georgia.”

She added: “Chapter Zero Ukraine & Caucasus is a vital resource to enable directors to acquire the competencies they need to place the climate transition at the heart of board strategy, culture and routine decision-making.  By joining, they will access an instant fellowship of like-minded directors, as well as experts in key areas of strategy, risk management, audit, remuneration and reporting. We are delighted to welcome our new colleagues, and to work together to build a stable and prosperous Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia.”

“As an educational institution KSE strives to provide our clients with the most up-to-date knowledge and skills. Addressing climate change is critical for the development of the global economy and we believe there is no time to waste in integrating it into corporate governance processes. We are pleased to lead this initiative and support Ukrainian and regional companies, especially in the context of Russia’s war on Ukraine,” said Natalia Shapoval, Head of KSE Institute.

The EBRD supports the establishment of this new chapter as part of a partnership with CGI to enhance boards’ understanding of how climate risks could affect their business in key regions of focus for the Bank. The EBRD and CGI partnered up in April this year to promote climate governance of companies, including training non-executive directors on climate-related risks and their implications for business to boost boards’ capacity to move towards a net-zero economy.

“The EBRD, its partners and clients need to address climate change at the organisational level to achieve systemic impacts; board directors and executives can play a significant role,” said Matteo Patrone, Managing Director, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus at the EBRD.

He added: “The EBRD is already providing critical tools and advisory support to its clients to enhance climate governance, climate-risk management and disclosures. We believe that Chapter Zero Ukraine & Caucasus will encourage informed debate among business leaders in the region on how to drive long-term decarbonisation and ensure businesses remain resilient when facing future economic change.”

As well as leading to better governance, bringing more and deeper project-level engagement with clients, the EBRD’s partnership with CGI aims to enhance the delivery of the EBRD’s Green Economy Transition (GET) approach, through which the multilateral development bank aims to make at least half its investments green by 2025. The EBRD is also implementing plans to align fully with the goals of the Paris Agreement on climate change by the end of 2022.

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