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Global accountancy bodies urge governments to adopt zero carbon economic policies

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Chief executives of the global professional accountancy bodies have called on government across the world, to create policy and regulatory infrastructure necessary for the transition to a net-zero carbon economy.

The professionals in their call to action statement obtained by The Guardian highlights that climate change represents an economic, social and business risk that accountants from across the world must take action on.

It maintained that the accountancy profession must act now to help the organizations they work with respond to climate change with the urgency and scale required.

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The Chief executives representing 14 accounting bodies signed the call to action in response to climate change. The bodies, who are all members of A4S’s Accounting Bodies Network, represent over 2.5 million accountants and students globally.

The professionals identified eight actions which accountants are called upon to take in response to the climate emergency and commitments from the bodies themselves in support of their members.

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Some of the parties to the call to action include the CEO, Chartered Accountants of Australia and New Zealand, Rick Ellis, Leader of the Association of International Certified Professional accountants, Barry Melancon, Mark Farrar of Accounting Technicians, Michael Izza of ICAEW, Chairman and President, the Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Masahiko Tezuka, Chief Executive, Chartered Accountants of Ireland, Barry Dempsey, and others.

Supported by the CEO of the International Federation of Accountants, Kevin Dancey, declared that the impacts of climate change are already being felt throughout the world and urgent action is needed to limit its negative effects.

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“With climate change come potentially profound negative economic consequences including impacts on production, financial stability, living standards, and employment, and more widely on social cohesion and political stability. We recognize that mitigation and adaptation will rely, to a very substantial degree, on both macro and micro economic policies and the associated market mechanisms into which accounting practices are embedded. Climate change nevertheless presents transformation opportunities.”

“The accountancy profession can play a significant role in achieving both climate change mitigation and adaptation at individual business, industry sector and economy-wide levels. We acknowledge that these are multifaceted challenges and will work with other professions and stakeholders in pursuit of solutions.”

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Better disclosure will facilitate more informed decision making while enabling market forces to drive efficient allocation of capital and support a smooth and just transition to a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy. Our profession can play an important role in ensuring transparency and appropriate disclosure around climate-related risks and opportunities, which in turn will help to maintain financial stability.”

The call to action further stated that regulatory framework in any jurisdiction needs to provide stability and future certainty to enable the necessary transition, encourage and achieve business investment in technology and innovation, decarbonisation strategies, budgets while targets must be established to allow for effective planning.

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“Policy certainty is essential if we are to attain motivating action across the private sector. Both transition to net-zero emissions and climate change adaptation measures are clearly linked to other areas of public policy, especially those directed at economic development.

We support, a more integrated approach to policy development so that it is consistent with net-zero emissions and climate change adaptation goals.”

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