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Carbon risk disclosure inquiry launched

Carbon risk disclosure inquiry launched

Tim Stewart
— 1 minute read

The Greens have successfully established a Senate inquiry into the carbon risk disclosure practices of Australian companies.

Greens Senator Whish-Wilson moved that an inquiry in carbon risk disclosure be referred to the Economics Reference Committee on Tuesday.

The committee was established after Labor and the independents supported the bill, while the Coalition opposed it arguing it "does not support additional red tape" in the area.

The inquiry will look into current and emerging international carbon risk disclosure frameworks and current carbon risk disclosure practices within corporate Australia.

Australia's involvement in the G20 Financial Stability Board will be discussed, as well current regulatory and policy oversight of carbon risk disclosure across government agencies.

CDP, which was formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project and received 5,500 carbon disclosure statements from companies in 2015, welcomed the establishment of the inquiry.

CDP director in Australia and New Zealand James Day said the inquiry is "very timely" following the Paris Accord on Climate Change and the establishment of the new Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures by the Financial Stability Board under the chairmanship of Michael Bloomberg.

"Major Australian listed companies have improved their climate disclosure in recent years. But the data also shows that efforts will need to be redoubled, by both companies and their investors, if we are to successfully confront the challenge of climate change in the years to come," Mr Day said.

"Henry Paulson, the former Republican Secretary of the US Treasury, has said that climate change is not only a risk to the environment but it is the single biggest risk that exists to the economy."

The Investor Group on Climate Change (IGCC) also backed the formation of the inquiry, with IGCC chief executive Emma Herd labelling it an "important milestone".

“Australia has a carbon intensive economy which is exposed to the regulatory, physical and market risks of climate change," Ms Herd said.

"Investors who are managing financial risk for the long term, need to be managing for climate change. Regulators need to have good visibility of the system-wide implications."

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Carbon risk disclosure inquiry launched
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