Zero ambitions: what is the role of boards on climate? 

Climate Governance Malaysia


Climate Governance Malaysia in collaboration with ASEAN Climate Governance Network 


Michele Kythe Lim, CEO, Institute of Directors Malaysia

Welcome note:

Karina Litvack, Founder & Chairperson, Climate Governance Initiative

Keynote speakers:

  • Prof Jim Skea, Co-Chair, IPCC Working Group III
  • Prof Dr. Djisman Simandjuntak, Rector of Universitas Prasetiya Mulya, Chairman of the Board of Directors of CSIS Foundation, Co-Founder IICD & Former Trustee Board and IICD Fellows, Indonesia
  • Charlie Penner, Former Head of Active Engagement, Engine No.1


  • Jamie Allen, Secretary General, Asian Corporate Governance Association, Hong Kong
  • Stephen Miller, President & Group CEO, ST Telemedia, Singapore
  • Amar Gill, Managing Director & Head of Investment Stewardship, APAC, BlackRock Hong Kong

This session discusses the roles of the board, their responsibilities, and strategic options they can take in managing climate risks (i.e. emissions reduction targets) and taking advantage of associated opportunities.  

Boards must take responsibility, mobilise resources to manage the full spectrum of climate-related risks by integrating them into their corporate strategies & actions and ensure proper disclosure of risks. This is because climate change has evolved from an ‘ethical, environmental’ issue to one that presents foreseeable financial and systemic risks and opportunities.  

The board and management-level must think through what the material risks facing the company are and how can they address those over the short, medium and long terms. They must ensure that those targets are relevant and verified by science-based methods. It has to be a cross functions approach to get a comprehensive step-by-step approach over the next couple of years.  

Directors and companies do not need to reinvent the wheel in terms of thinking about climate risks from a strategic perspective. There are a lot of other frameworks that have been done by companies around the region and around the world that are available for companies to refer to and study.  

Companies must be able to identify their contribution to greenhouse gases (GHG) and requirements, start taking direct action on things that are within their control and measure the impact. 

Ambition to Action: Key actions for boards

When looking at changes and evolution of technology and capabilities, a company must simultaneously look at the implications for climate and how they can operate efficiently.  

Companies must have real engagement by senior management and the board with the stakeholders, experts on how technology is evolving and with investors. In this way, the board will get direct communication from investors and their concerns on the sector. Additionally, investors will have direct communication from the board on how they are addressing the issues and how they determine the right strategies for the company.

This summary was provided by the session host.