Date posted: 9/12/2019 3 min read

CA ANZ hosts discussions on proposed NZ climate-risk disclosures

Public consultation sessions in Wellington, Auckland and Christchurch discussed Government proposals and other climate-related disclosure developments.

In brief

  • The Coalition Government’s proposed mandatory climate-risk disclosures regime was up for discussion at events hosted by CA ANZ
  • The events also included an overview of the Financial Stability Board’s taskforce on climate-related financial disclosures and the Aotearoa Circle’s legal opinion for directors
  • CA ANZ has called on members to comment on the proposals

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand last month hosted public consultation sessions for the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment on proposed mandatory climate-risk disclosures.

CA ANZ's Business Reform Leader, Karen McWilliams FCA, chaired the sessions held in Wellington, Auckland (where there were two) and Christchurch.

The Coalition Government's proposals on a new regime requiring companies to assess and report their climate-related financial risks were discussed along with an explanation of the Financial Stability Board's Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and an outline of the Aotearoa Circle’s legal opinion for directors prepared by Chapman Tripp.

Discussion at the Christchurch session with (left to right) Karen McWilliams with PwC Associate Director Melanie Craxton and Chapman Tripp's Daniel Kalderimis.

That opinion concludes that "directors and scheme managers must assess and manage climate risk as they would any other financial risk".

McWilliams welcomes the Government's consultation document on mandatory climate-related financial disclosures.

"New Zealand has fallen behind in awareness of the climate-related risks facing businesses, creating an information gap for investors, lenders and insurers. Around the world, businesses often have a clear road map guiding them on what to report, and where."

"In New Zealand much remains uncharted. This consultation is the beginning of the formal dialogue around how best to close the gap in the New Zealand business landscape."

The Government is proposing to introduce a mandatory (comply-or-explain) disclosure regime aligned with the recommendations of the TCFD. The discussion document proposes that the regime would apply to banks, insurers, asset owners, asset managers and listed issuers.

The Government is seeking views on these proposals, as well as input into whether exemptions should apply to certain entities, what role government should play in enabling disclosure and what the costs of doing this analysis would be.

Chartered Accountants ANZ is preparing its formal response to the consultation and is looking for member feedback.

Bridging NZ’s climate-related financial risk information gap

CA ANZ supports appropriate climate-related disclosures and reporting for decision making