IFAC publishes call to action on climate change

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12 Dec, 2019

The International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) has published a ‘Points of view’ document calling on action from various stakeholders with respect to climate change highlighting that they should all “embrace climate action and be part of the solution”.

In the Point of View, IFAC sets forth recommendations for various stakeholders including Governments, Businesses, Professional accountancy organisations and accountants.

The IFAC indicates that professional accountancy organisations have a key role to play in influencing climate-change mitigation and adaption as advocates for the profession and providers of accounting training and support. It calls on professional accountancy organisations to commit to keeping accountants informed of how they can support their organisations’ and clients’ efforts to respond to climate risk.

IFAC identifies that accountants themselves are influential in governments, not-for-profits, and businesses large and small. It highlights that accountants “are uniquely positioned to enhance meaningful action on climate change by providing relevant insights and analysis, reporting, and assurance to help organisations create and protect long-term value”. IFAC has signalled its intention to continue to support and facilitate the involvement of professional accountants in climate action in the following areas:

  • Providing objective data and insights to help organisations set and achieve appropriate emissions targets.
  • Contributing to efforts to integrate climate change risk into governance, strategy, finance, and operations, and enabling reliable and decision-useful climate related information.
  • Delivering insights on the financial impacts of climate risk and how it relates to revenues, expenditures, assets, liabilities, and financial capital.
  • Providing assurance on climate information serving to enhance confidence in public disclosures and to facilitate capital flows to sustainable organisations.
  • Advising on potential changes in tax law dealing with emissions regulations and helping fulfil evolving tax requirements impacted by climate change.  

The call comes as the UN Climate Change Conference meets and follows an earlier Points of View publication, Enhancing Corporate Reporting, which discusses the need for enhancing the corporate reporting system, integrated reporting, and the role of the accountancy profession in enhancing corporate reporting.

A press release and the Points of View publication are available on the IFAC website.

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