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Fail to (transition) plan, plan to fail

13 October, 2023

If you happened to be awake and at your desk at 8:40am this past Monday, you might have caught the release of the UK government’s Transition Plan Taskforce’s (TPT) guidance on climate transition plans. Despite the arguably antisocial start time, the release of the guidance is an exciting – and important – update to the UK corporate climate landscape. For those who slept through it, allow us to catch you up. 

The TPT was set in motion following COP26, when then-chancellor Rishi Sunak committed to integrating climate strategies throughout the UK’s economic landscape. The TPT was tasked by the Treasury with developing a gold standard for private sector climate transition plans – essentially, roadmaps for how businesses will transform their operations and business model to contribute to, and remain viable in, a lower carbon economy.

The TPT’s newly released guidance, which has been in development for nearly two years, sets out the key elements of a transition plan that a business is expected to develop and disclose. It has also been designed to be consistent with wider climate-related disclosure requirements and frameworks with the intention of streamlining, rather than duplicating disclosure requirements.

What does this mean for businesses? The TPT guidance is not mandatory yet. But in addition to the existing requirements for certain large organisations in the UK to publish climate disclosures, the UK Financial Conduct Authority has signalled its intention to consult on mandatory transition plan disclosures by listed companies in line with the TPT framework and requirements are anticipated to come into force from January 2025. Their advice to companies in the meantime? “Get started.”

Our advice is the same – even for those not expecting to fall within the scope of regulated disclosure. Ultimately all businesses will need a climate transition plan in some form, since all businesses will need to adapt to a low carbon economy, and the TPT guidance is a great place to start.

If you’re confused about what the implications are for your business, or unsure what a good transition plan looks like, we’re happy to help clarify. Otherwise, keep an eye out for our upcoming Friday5 special on corporate climate action, which will answer these questions and more!

By Louise Podmore

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