Concerns on climate crisis must feature in investment decisions

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ACCA, climate crisis

World’s leading professional accountancy body calls for a new philosophy in corporate finance worlds leading professional accountancy body calls for a new philosophy in corporate finance climate crisis

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.

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‘Organisations need to put accountancy and finance at the heart of climate crisis 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 the trustworthy assurance of information, will play a key role.’

The event was attended by policymakers and business leaders from across India.

About ACCA: ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global professional body for professional accountants.

We’re a thriving global community of 233,000 members and 536,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.

We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance, and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business, and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Since 1904, being a force for the public good has been embedded in our purpose. In December 2020, we made commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we are measuring and will report on in our annual integrated report.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital in helping economies, organisations, and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities. And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation.

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