Climate change briefing: Questions directors should ask

Climate change is a business issue. This publication outlines 20 questions for boards of directors to ask in overseeing organizational risk management, business strategy and performance in the context of climate change.

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Climate change is a pressing global issue affecting all companies, public and private, with wide-ranging implications for shareholder value, strategy, risk management and financial performance.

This briefing explores these issues and sets out questions that directors might ask about climate change as part of oversight responsibilities. While we direct our discussion to directors, this briefing may also help management understand the board’s and their own role in anticipating, assessing and managing the risks and opportunities that climate change can bring.

This is the second edition of a publication first written by Julie Desjardins and Alan Willis, and published in 2009 by a legacy organization of CPA Canada. This second edition has been updated to reflect developments in Canada and internationally since the original publication.

You will learn about:

  • recent developments in Canada and abroad related to combating climate change
  • drivers for businesses to understand and evaluate climate change impacts
  • the nature and magnitude of climate-related risks for businesses
  • questions to ask in overseeing an organization's strategy for managing climate-related risks
  • current and prospective regulatory requirements for businesses
  • financial impacts of climate change on revenues, expenditures, cash flow, and liquidity
  • disclosure considerations in mandatory and voluntary reporting
  • governance considerations related to oversight responsibility and executive compensation