An Irish arm of a climate governance initiative aimed at addressing gaps in knowledge of climate change at the board level of companies is being unveiled today.

Chapter Zero Ireland is being launched in collaboration with the World Economic Forum with the aim of ensuring that directors are equipped with the knowledge to lead crucial boardroom discussions on the impacts of climate change.

Its remit is to support directors in Ireland "to deliver on a sustainable future and transform global net zero ambitions into robust local action plans".

The Chapter - which will be made up of a community of non-executive directors - will develop a programme for members to build capacity on their boards and appropriately respond to the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.

The initiative is aimed at non-executive directors who are just starting to engage with climate change in their boardroom, but will also comprise of more in-depth activities for those who are more experienced.

"Climate change is a global emergency. Our response to the challenge will impact the stability of financial markets and economies, and requires collaboration between the public, private and financial sectors," Tom Kavanagh, Chair of Chapter Zero Ireland, and an independent Non-Executive Director said.

"Worryingly, an uneven level of knowledge about the topic at board level weakens their ability to adequately address it. Enabling board members with tools to effectively address corporate governance related climate issues is essential to ensure an equitable and effective transition that achieves the goals of the Paris Accord," he added.

Chapter Zero Ireland is an independent company which will be overseen by an appointed board.

It is backed by representatives from the Institute of Directors in Ireland, HSBC Ireland, Ibec, Chartered Accountants Ireland, and Deloitte Ireland.