[Originally published 30 December 2019]

Outgoing Bank of England chief Mark Carney, and soon to be United Nations special envoy for climate action and finance, has issued a new climate change warning on Radio 4's Today programme this morning which was guest edited by Greta Thunberg.  

He re-iterated his warning that unless firms woke up to what he called the climate crisis, many of their assets would become worthless.  He is asking all companies and financial institutions: what's your plan?  Under Mr Carney’s leadership the Bank of England recently launched a “stress test” to determine which firms and sectors would be worst-hit by climate change.  He said firms should be identifying what their carbon footprint is today, what they expected it to be tomorrow and what they are going to do about it.  In other words, how are they managing the transition.  

By extension, all law firms should be asking themselves the same question as part of their business planning processes - they should be looking to climate stress test their business plans and consider what risks climate change puts into their operations.   Whether we like it or not, "the times they are a'changing" and law firms should be looking to get ahead of the curve while there is still time.....