Report of the Town Clerk and Chief Executive.
Members received a report of the Town Clerk and Chief Executive relative to a Deep Dive on Climate Action risk.
The Climate Action Strategy (CAS) was adopted by the Court in October 2020, and the Deep Dive first presented earlier in 2021. The Director of Innovation and Growth reported on the programme management, governance and assurance processes that have been established to ensure that the programme is able to deliver on its targets. These are
· 13 workstreams, demonstrating that this is a broad, cross-Corporation programme;
· The programme is fully funded. A key challenge was ensuring that funding was there for all 13 workstreams;
· A performance dashboard, to measure targets;
· A comprehensive stakeholder engagement plan.
The Director said that the most immediate risk for the CAS was that the Corporation would fail to meet the target of net zero by 2027. Another key risk was in ensuring that each of the 13 workstream was prioritised across departments, especially in the first year.
The list had been updated to include three key externalities that were being monitored. These was the decarbonisation rate of the UK electricity grid, the pace of adoption of the Paris Agreement alignment in financial markets and the pace of innovation in low-carbon products.
In response to a query about the most relevant benchmarks for the Corporation, the Director replied that there were other financial centres, local authorities, and housing and investment portfolios. The Chairman commented that it would be useful to generate a shortlist of names against which the Corporation could benchmark itself.
With regard to the mid-term targets of the project, Members were advised that a report issued to the Policy and Resources Committee in April had issued interim targets. Officers were keen to prioritise interlinked risks, as it wa critical that the programme was viewed as a whole.
A Member asked how the governance aspect of engaging with external stakeholders was going to be managed. In response, the Committee was advised that the CAS has tried to minimise dependence on other parties. The City Corporation also had both hard and soft influence to deploy in the Square Mile, where the programme would focus on external stakeholders. There was a stakeholder engagement plan in place and this was a critical component in strategy implementation.
A Member queried, in regards to benchmarking, if matching the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) had been considered for the City Corporation. An Officer responded that a paper has been taken to the Financial Investments Board outlining a transition pathway, including an early internal report in September to consider becoming TCFD compliant.
There was some discussion regarding the Task Force on Climate related Financial Disclosures. A Member queried how the risks were being assessed in regards to the potential impact on investment priorities.. The Director responded that the market was moving quickly in terms of expectations surrounding investments and Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG).Members were advised that modelling was underway to look at pathways so that the relationship between risks and returns could be appropriately tracked.
The Director announced that he would be handing over his responsibility as Senior Responsible Owner on the CAS to the Deputy Town Clerk and Chief Executive, Town Clerks Department. Members were advised that this represented a further risk mitigation.
RESOLVED, that – the report be received and its contents noted.