Mark Carney advocates better climate-related financial disclosure at CPA Canada event

CPA Canada brought together Canadian business and investment communities to learn about the work of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.

Consistent disclosure of climate-related financial information is required to support informed investment, stated Mark Carney, Bank of England Governor and Chair of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) at an information session convened by Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) in Toronto on July 15, 2016.

Mr. Carney was the special guest at the CPA Canada-sponsored information session that focused on the work of the FSB’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. Carney used the session to discuss the motivation for establishing the Task Force, and outlined the importance of the initiative and the value of consistent climate-related financial disclosures.

CPA Canada’s Tashia Batstone addressing the gathering.

The task force is developing voluntary, consistent climate-related financial risk disclosures for companies to use in providing information to investors, lenders, insurers and other stakeholders.

Canadian task force members Jane Ambachtsheer (partner and chair for Responsible Investment at Mercer Investments) and Stephanie Leaist (managing director and head of sustainable investing at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board) discussed the progress to date and findings from the public consultation on the Phase I Report, noting that their final report is scheduled for December 2016. CPA Canada has submitted a comment letter on the Phase I Report.

The FSB, an international body that monitors and makes recommendations about the global financial system, created the Task Force in December 2015 in response to a request by the G20.

Jane Ambachtsheer, Partner and Chair – Responsible Investment at Mercer Investments, giving a presentation with a CPA logo podium in front.

CPA Canada's efforts in the area of climate change

The session served as a valuable conduit of information for many stakeholders and clearly demonstrated CPA Canada’s leadership in the area of climate change.

Tashia Batstone, CPA Canada’s senior vice-president, External Relations and Business Development, welcomed the guests and reiterated CPA Canada’s commitment to driving awareness of the risks and opportunities posed by climate change to Canadian businesses. “Our profession’s interest and leadership in this area is longstanding,” she said. “CPA Canada and its legacy bodies recognized early on the business and financial implications of climate change. We are a founding member of the Global Reporting Initiative, and we have been advocating for enhanced reporting and other initiatives to address climate change matters for 20 years.”

Batstone added that one of CPA Canada’s current priority initiatives focuses on helping organizations understand and address the business risks associated with a changing climate. “So, it should be no surprise that CPA Canada supports the work of the Task Force,” she stressed.

The success of the event reinforced that CPA Canada is a globally respected business and accounting organization.

Stephanie Leaist, Managing Director and Head of Sustainable Investing at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board giving a presentation with a CPA logo podium sign in front.

CPA Canada's reporting resources

Reporting on climate change and sustainability matters is an important area of focus for the Canadian accounting profession. CPA Canada continues to provide resources in this area:

CPA Canada is also conducting a study on climate-related disclosures of Canadian public companies in regulatory filings. In addition, the publication Climate Change Briefing: Questions for Directors to Ask (originally produced in 2009) is being updated. It focuses on business, reporting and governance considerations resulting from climate change.

Canadian Task Force members, Jane Ambachtsheer and Stephanie Leaist in conversation with Mark Carney. 

For more information, contact Rosemary McGuire, principal, Reporting and Capital Markets, or Sarah Keyes, principal, Sustainability.