To mark London Climate Action Week, we were delighted to host the Legal Sustainability Alliance’s Symposium and Summer Party in our London office. The theme of the Symposium was 'Climate Change - Time for a Systems Rethink?’ and we were joined by Sacha Dench, Ambassador for the UN's Convention on Migratory Species & CEO, Conservation Without Borders and Dr Richard Benwell, CEO Wildlife & Countryside Link and Vesselina Haralampieva, Senior Counsel at the European Bank for Reconstruction & Development (EBRD) in London.
I chaired a panel of expert speakers, sharing different perspectives on the challenges we face and the changing financial, political, policy and physical landscape caused by climate change.
Climate change is widely seen as one of the biggest threats to a sustainable future, and mitigating and adapting to its effects requires rapid and far-reaching transitions across all sectors. The physical world is telling us that time is running out, and not enough is being done globally to reduce emissions, leading many to fear we are not on track to meet the goal of limiting temperature rises to 1.5°C by 2030.
The legal industry has a unique responsibility to help educate businesses in their role in facing the climate change crisis. The new disclosure regulations and reporting around ESG, together with the Law Society Guidance for solicitors on climate change, are crucial steps in driving both the legal community and business to think about the impact of their operations. We are starting to see system changes in many industries, but there was a consensus at the Symposium that much more needs to be done. It was recognised that regulatory frameworks and reporting obligations are key drivers for change, but the role of capital and finance is key to supporting innovation and supporting a just transition.
One of the key themes throughout the Symposium was that we all have a role to play in tackling climate change and need to work together to encourage greater engagement from corporates, governments and regulators and to think about investments that go beyond off-setting, and contribute to nature’s recovery.
There has never been a better time for policy makers, funders, lawyers and activists to come together to do a radical rethink on how we can tackle climate change. So what are we waiting for?