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February 25, 2020

Global accounting leaders call on profession to help address climate change

By Zoya Malik

As part of The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability project (A4S) Accounting Bodies Network, a number of major accounting bodies around the world have published a declaration calling on the profession to put sustainability and the fight against climate change at the forefront of its work

The accounting bodies said their members have a critical role to play to help effect meaningful change because of their expertise with advising businesses about risk management and their responsibility to act in the public interest.

The bodies stated that an accountant’s role should demonstrate the risks to business posed by climate change, such as the impact of flooding or the effect of drought on the price of crops needed in the supply chain.

  • The global bodies which signed the call to action are: Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the unified voice of AICPA and CIMA)
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori commercialistie degli Esperti Contabili (CNDCEC)
  • CPA Australia
  • CPA Canada
  • Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • International Federation of Accountants
  • Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)
  • Regnskap Norge/Accounting Norway

      ACCA chief executive Helen Brand said: “This is a call to action not just for accountants, but also for the professional bodies of which they are members – we all have an immense role to play here, and alongside my colleagues we all sign up to three proactive commitments that will help our members and future members rise to the challenge.”

ICAEW chief executive Michael Izza said: “As we face the climate emergency head on, it’s crucial we chartered accountants use our unique position as advisers to business and policymakers to make the case for sustainability.

“Chartered accountants bring practical skills like measurement and management to the table, and can work with business to build green policies into their working practices. We need to make this a decade of transition for business; failure to make this move will make the inevitable adjustments required much more difficult.”

CA ANZ chief executive Rick Ellis 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.”

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