Net Zero Regulation and Policy directors join UN taskforce

14 June 2024

Thom & Tom
The Taskforce on Net Zero Policy, an initiative with the aim of furthering the work of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Expert Group (HLEG) on the Net-Zero Emissions Commitments of Non-State Entities, has today announced the constituents of its Board of Trustees and its Taskforce Expert Group (TEG).

Professors Tom Hale and Thom Wetzer, directors of the Oxford Martin Programme on Net Zero Regulation and Policy, have been appointed to the Taskforce Expert Group. This comes after the establishment of the Net Zero Regulation and Policy Hub earlier this year- a key output of the programme.

In a recent speech, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres acknowledged the vital role that non-state actors have to play in realising the global shift to net zero and the importance of the HLEG recommendations as a framework to facilitate this activity.

The Taskforce also confirmed that it has plans to produce a landmark report, to be published at COP29 and presented to the Secretary General, which will take stock of current trends and themes on net zero policy in relation to the HLEG recommendations.

The Taskforce, announced during COP28 in Dubai, has a remit to gather and produce insights which help align the credibility and accountability of 1.5°C-aligned net zero emissions commitments by non-state actors with effective coherent policies and regulatory certainty.

Climate change is well understood to pose material, existential risks to businesses, investors and societies around the world. With rates of warming continuing to accelerate and efforts to align with a 1.5°C future thus far unsuccessful, the need for action from policymakers and non-state actors alike has never been more urgent.

The Taskforce’s Board of Trustees is formed of senior representatives from organisations at the confluence of climate and policy issues. The Board serves to set the strategy and priorities of Taskforce, as well as serving as a pool of expert opinion to test the outputs of the group.

Helena Vines Fiestas (UN HLEG member, Chair of the EU Platform on Sustainable Finance and Commissioner of the Spanish Financial Markets Authority) and Andrea Meza Murillo (Deputy Executive Secretary to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)) will serve as co-Chairs of the initiative.

The Taskforce Expert Group is formed from technical experts drawn from fields relevant to the HLEG recommendations, including climate change mitigation and climate adaptation, corporate regulation, financial regulation, environmental and real economy sector policies, just transition policies, and financial markets (and others as needed).

Specifically, TEG members are expected to help shape the work of the Taskforce by providing guidance, research and analysis which will inform the Taskforce’s outputs.

TEG members have been selected to represent a diverse range of viewpoints drawn a spectrum of regional economic contexts, in keeping with the Taskforce’s objective to consider how EMDE markets can be best served by cohesive and just transition to net zero.

The input of the Board of Trustees and Taskforce Expert Group will form the basis of the Taskforce’s stocktake report, due for publication at COP29 in Azerbaijan. The report will identify and map policies in G20 countries against the HLEG criteria. It will also identify areas of good practice, challenges faced and actionable insights, including for vulnerable countries and emerging economies.