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Chalmers welcomes climate reporting amendments following Coalition ‘denial’

By Jessica Penny
2 minute read

The Albanese government is working towards incentivising investments towards the net zero transformation.

Australia’s largest companies will be subject to a series of new climate reporting standards come 2025, with the Treasury Laws Amendment (Financial Market Infrastructure and other measures) Bill being introduced to Parliament on Wednesday.

This includes the implementations of new mandatory climate reporting requirements for big companies, which will commence from 1 January 2025 for Australia’s largest listed and unlisted companies and financial institutions.

In a statement, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that after a decade of “delay and denial under the Coalition”, the Albanese government is taking action on climate reporting to support more investment in cheaper and cleaner energy and help companies and investors manage climate risks.

“This legislation will introduce standardised, internationally aligned reporting requirements for businesses, to ensure they are making high quality, climate‑related financial disclosures,” Chalmers explained.

According to the Treasurer, these changes will establish Australia’s climate risk disclosure framework, giving investors and companies additional clarity when investing in new opportunities as part of the net zero transformation.

“A rigorous, internationally aligned and credible climate disclosure regime will support Australia’s reputation as an attractive destination for international capital and incentivise investment in the energy transformation,” Chalmers concluded.

The news comes after Australian businesses continue to face significant challenges in meeting climate targets.

Namely, a new study launched by consulting firm Kearney revealed that Australia lags behind the regional average for setting comprehensive targets across Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions (28 per cent versus the APAC average of 41 per cent).

Meanwhile, 82 per cent of business leaders believe their decarbonisation targets to be attainable, though only 20 per cent have decarbonisation plans acutely aligned with the Paris Agreement.

This is on the back of most business leaders (77 per cent) viewing sustainability as a cost rather than a value-creating opportunity.

“The perception of sustainability as a cost instead of an opportunity is unfortunately a short-term business focus which hinders the full integration of sustainability into operations,” commented Kate Hart, partner and APAC sustainability co-lead at Kearney.

“It’s imperative that Australian enterprises accelerate their efforts and embrace regenerative practices that look beyond immediate gains, addressing the broader systemic impacts essential for sustainability.”

According to Hart, this shift is not just about environmental responsibility, but about “building true resilience for businesses in a rapidly evolving global landscape”.