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Chartered Accountants welcome climate financial disclosures

Chartered Accountants welcome climate-related financial disclosures discussion document

Karen McWilliams, Business Reform Leader for Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand today welcomed the Government’s consultation document on a new regime requiring companies to assess and report their climate-related financial risks.

“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.”

McWilliams said a critical driver of the change in Australia was a landmark legal opinion in 2016 showing Australian law requires company directors to consider, disclose and respond to climate change.

“The just-released legal opinion by the Aotearoa Circle says climate change is a foreseeable risk of financial harm to many businesses and directors and that managers have a responsibility to treat climate risk the same as any other financial risk.”

McWilliams said CA ANZ is a strong advocate for appropriate climate-related disclosures and reporting for decision making.

“In our experience, there is also a general lack of awareness and understanding in the broader business community regarding climate change-related risks and opportunities.”

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