20 September 2018
Commenting on the ASIC Report 593 Climate risk disclosure by Australia’s listed companies (REP 593), Daniel Gocher, Director of Climate & Environment at the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR) said:
“While ASIC’s report on the level of climate risk disclosure by Australian listed companies is welcome, the findings should ring alarm bells for investors.”
“Many Australian listed companies still have their heads in the sand on the issue of climate risk.
“While civil society and some investors have been demanding greater action on climate change from corporate Australia in recent years, the level of climate risk disclosure by Australian listed companies has in fact declined.
“This is perhaps the clearest indication of the impact of the policy turmoil on climate and energy from our federal government. Many companies have swallowed the line that acting on climate change is not important, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
“ASIC could address this inaction rather quickly – by making climate risk reporting mandatory.
“ASIC’s findings should provoke action from Australia’s superannuation industry, as some of the largest investors in Australian listed companies. While initiatives like the Climate Action 100+ are positive, if company directors do not face any consequences for inadequate reporting, they are unlikely to improve.
“Investors must make clear to companies that there will be consequences for failing to disclose and manage climate risk, by using the tools available to them. Polite engagement is simply not enough. Investors should be voting against directors and/or remuneration reports. Only until there is change at board level, will climate risk be taken seriously.”
Contact: Daniel Gocher 0410550337