Real action to combat climate crisis can only work when investment decisions are linked directly with impacts on the environment, according to ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).
Lucia Real-Martin, ACCA’s executive director for markets, said in a recent speech that the big lesson from the COP 26 climate summit in Scotland was that a new philosophy of corporate finance is essential if moves towards a carbon-free global economy are to succeed.
‘Organisations need to put accountancy and finance at the heart of climate action strategy and implementation,’ Lucia said.
‘The accountancy profession has a critical role to play in this, both to lead long-term value creation in sustainable economies, and to champion responsible practices for the public good.’
Lucia Real-Martin was speaking at the Institute of Directors India’s 22nd World Congress on Environment Management and Climate Change, held on 8 December 2021. The theme of the online event was ‘Key Takeaways from COP26 and Steering the Board towards Effective Climate Governance’.
Lucia also welcomed the launch of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) announced at COP26. The body unites finance leaders from around the world in a drive to adopt corporate reporting that goes beyond financial results and focuses on businesses’ impacts on the environment and on society.
‘This development offers a unique opportunity to help shape global reporting standards for the benefit of investors, economies and the public good, and it will play a vital role in tackling the global environmental and social challenges ahead,’ Lucia said.
Speaking to a large business audience of around 1,400 people from nine countries, including Australia, Germany, India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States Lucia Real-Martin said that business and finance leaders are ready to act quickly and decisively as the planet seeks to avoid climate catastrophe.
‘Belatedly, but with increasing urgency, organisations are finally starting to grasp the scale of the emergency our world is facing. The risks are immense and so the time to act is now, she said.
‘We see ahead a new purpose for organisations, a new way for them to operate, and an opportunity for accountancy and finance professionals to provide leadership. Their ability to drive strategy and decision making by connecting financial and non-financial information into a coherent narrative, seen through an ethical lens, and backed by trustworthy assurance of information, will play a key role.’
The event was attended by policy makers and business leaders from across India.