Date posted: 25/02/2020 5 min read

CA ANZ joins climate change call to action

The accounting profession can play a significant role in achieving both climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In Brief

  • The accounting profession can play a significant role in achieving both climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand signs a call to action in response to climate change
  • It includes eight actions for accountants and accounting bodies

Thirteen accounting bodies representing 2.5 million accountants globally, including Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, have supported a call to action in response to climate change.

The statement includes eight actions which accountants, and the accounting bodies, are committing to take. It says there are two main reasons for accountants to be concerned by climate change: it is an economic, social and business risk – a risk that accountants from across the world must take action on and professional accountants have a responsibility to act in the public interest.

CA ANZ Chief Executive Rick Ellis, who signed the call to action, said “Accountants are uniquely placed and qualified to help businesses and organisations deal with climate change.

“They can quantify the risks, and their financial consequences, providing robust, reliable and transparent information for decision makers, investors and the public.

The call to action says professional accountants should commit to:

  • Provide sound advice and services as organisations, capital markets, and governments develop and implement plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Use and implement existing and developing reporting frameworks such as those from the International Integrated Reporting Council and the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures
  • Contribute to the efforts of the organisations they work with to integrate climate change risk into organisational strategy, finance, operations, and communications
  • Support sustainable decision making within the organisations they work for by allocating budgets and resources, and by developing high quality and timely information and insights through measurement and disclosure, built on robust and transparent accounting systems.
“Accountants are uniquely placed and qualified to help businesses and organisations deal with climate change.”
Rick Ellis, CA ANZ Chief Executive 

CA ANZ’s commitment

The call to action also commits its signatories to:

  • Provide our members with the training, support and infrastructure they need to apply their skills to the challenge
  • Support relevant market-based policy initiatives and incentives, consistent and well-considered regulation, and more useful disclosure
  • Provide sound advice to help governments to create the policy and regulatory infrastructure necessary for a just transition to a net zero carbon economy.

How to get started

Here are 5 things you can do now to start becoming professionally ready for climate change.

  1. Increase your knowledge on climate-related financial disclosures. – listen to our webinar
  2. Be aware of what the financial regulators have said about climate change and disclosures: Regulator call for shift
  3. Understand the risks and opportunities of climate change for your business and/or clients.  
  4. Discuss these risks and opportunities with your colleagues – get everyone on board, including the leaders
  5. Take action. Bring climate-related considerations into your day to day work. Start with easy wins such as energy efficiency improvements, increase the use of renewables, reduce/reuse/recycle, have business continuity plans in place for extreme weather events.

The accounting profession's significant role

Read the call to action and find out what you need to know and what you can do.

Read more

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