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ICAEW appointments bolster new Treasury taskforce

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 25 Apr 2022

HM Treasury launches a new UK Transition Plan Taskforce to develop the gold standard for UK businesses’ climate transition plans.

John Glenn, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, this week launched the UK Transition Plan Taskforce (TPT), with senior ICAEW representatives among its members, as part of the commitment laid out by the Chancellor at COP26 to make the UK the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre.

Glenn, who is Co-Chair of the taskforce alongside Aviva CEO Amanda Blanc, said the TPT would be responsible for developing a new regime that would force UK financial institutions and listed companies to develop and publish rigorous and robust transition plans that detail how they will adapt and decarbonise as the UK moves towards a net-zero economy by 2050.

Speaking at City Week, a gathering of the international financial services community organised in partnership with the UK Government and leading City institutions from 25-27 April, Glenn said: “I am delighted that the Transition Plan Taskforce is now up and running, supporting the Chancellor’s ambition to become the world’s first net zero-aligned financial centre,” said Glenn.

Joining Glenn on the taskforce will be ICAEW’s CEO Michael Izza and Director of Sustainability Richard Spencer, who have both been appointed to help steer and deliver the TPT. Glenn added: “It brings together an impressive range of forward-thinking stakeholders to ensure firms can put together plans to aid our transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Izza will be part of a steering group of private and public sector leaders that will lead the taskforce, supported by a delivery group formed of senior experts from across industry, academia and civil society, including ICAEW’s Spencer. The Secretariat for the TPT is provided by the UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment (CGFI) and climate change think tank E3G.

Izza said: “Corporate transition planning is probably the key issue for 2022, and while we’ve had a whirlwind period of net zero commitments, now is the time to understand what the actual implications are in terms of strategy, targets and implementation. The UK has the opportunity to lead the way on turning ambition into action and, following my appointment to the taskforce, I look forward to playing a part in making that happen.” 

Glenn said the UK was a world leader; in addition to becoming the first major economy to commit to net zero by 2050, it established the world’s first retail Green Savings Bonds, and last year alone raised £16bn in Green Gilts to fund projects such as offshore wind.

How will the Taskforce implement the transition?

Climate transition plans will support a range of use cases, including the development of sustainability-linked instruments and investor stewardship, as well as financial regulation and corporate strategy.

Under the rules announced by the Chancellor at COP26, the UK Government is requiring large companies and certain financial sector firms to publish a transition plan from 2023. These new requirements will build on the latest implementing guidance of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Amanda Blanc, CEO of Aviva plc and TPT Co-Chair said: “Everyone in the UK will be touched by the climate crisis, so all of us depend on shifting the economy to net zero as soon as possible. Preventing the worst impacts of climate change will take all businesses developing ambitious, consistent transition plans to get us to a low carbon future. I’m delighted to be co-chairing this crucial work alongside the Economic Secretary and hope that the UK will set the gold standard, for everyone’s benefit.” 

Find out more about the Transition Plan Taskforce, and download its Terms of Reference for full details about the aims, outputs and timeline of the taskforce.

COP26: acting together

Find inspiration, information and practical resources to support the goals of the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow and explore why it represents a critical time for the profession.

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