Accounting CEOs in global low carbon call

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By Michael McGlinchey, CA Today

24 November 2015

Chief executives of leading global accounting bodies call on world leaders to act now to achieve a low carbon future.

Issued on behalf of the Accounting Bodies Network*.

The global accountancy profession has urged world leaders to demonstrate determination and political will in order to achieve a low carbon, sustainable future, ahead of the COP 21 Climate Change meeting in Paris.

In an open letter to world leaders, chief executives of the accounting bodies representing one million accountants worldwide, asked governments to:

  1. Commit to an agreement in Paris that provides a clear signal that governments will act to achieve a low carbon, sustainable future.
  2. Put in place a framework that sets out necessary government actions, reduces uncertainty and enables investors, businesses and others to make informed decisions that are consistent with this aim.

The accountancy bodies, all members of the A4S Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), have committed to a set of principles that support action by the accounting community to address climate change.  In particular, through these principles they have committed to:

  • Equip accountants with the skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to support their organisation's response to climate change by incorporating into training and professional education, driving thought leadership, and working with others to accelerate learning and progress
  • Influence and inform membership to understand the implications of climate change, and how approaches such as the adoption of integrated reporting can support an effective response

Richard Spencer, co-chair of the Accounting Bodies Network working group said: "COP21 offers a rare moment when the global community has an opportunity to commit to actions that will protect our economy, environment and society.

“The accountancy profession plays an important role in helping organisations respond to climate change risks and impacts to create resilient businesses.

“We urge world leaders to seize the moment with bold, ambitious and thoughtful commitments that will facilitate the actions by the private and public sector to deliver a sustainable future."

Anne Adrain, co-chair of the Accounting Bodies Network working group and ICAS Assistant Director, Sustainability & Assurance, said: "It is widely acknowledged that climate change will lead to significant impacts on businesses and that a clear policy environment is needed to aid them to plan effectively and build business resilience.

“Professional accountants have a key role to play in enabling organisations to measure their progress, not only financially, but also more broadly in terms of the key environmental and social impacts that are critical to their success."

Find out more about the letter and signatories.

* The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project Accounting Bodies Network is a group of powerful accounting bodies from across the globe, brought together to help minimize the duplication of initiatives undertaken in isolation and achieve a common approach to accounting for sustainability.


  • Audit and Assurance
  • Sustainability

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