2 March 2020
Market Forces has written to corporate watchdog ASIC to raise concerns about fossil fuel producers’ climate risk disclosures, or lack thereof.
Like other financial regulators, ASIC has been stepping up its scrutiny of companies’ disclosure and management of the financial risks posed by climate change.
ASIC’s 2018 report ‘Climate risk disclosure by Australia’s listed companies’ found a widespread need for improvement in the area in order to comply with the law. The regulator updated its guidance in 2019 to more clearly set out companies’ legal requirements around climate risk reporting.
When it comes to fossil fuel explorers and producers, the major financial risk is that policy and market shifts to limit greenhouse gas emissions reduce demand for their products.
Yet many companies that are totally reliant on future demand for the coal, oil and gas they produce – or hope to produce – still fail to discuss climate risk in their annual reporting to shareholders.
According to Market Forces’ research, the following ASX-listed fossil fuel production and/or exploration companies failed to disclose any information regarding climate-related risks in their Operating and Financial Reviews released during calendar year 2019:
- Buru Energy Ltd
- Carnarvon Petroleum Ltd
- Cue Energy Resources Ltd
- FAR Ltd
- Horizon Oil Ltd
- Leigh Creek Energy Ltd
- Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd
- Norwest Energy NL
- Pancontinental Oil and Gas NL
- Prairie Mining Ltd
- Whitebark Energy Ltd
We have also noted two further ASX-listed companies whose 2019 climate risk disclosures appear to fall short of ASIC Regulatory Guidance:
- Armour Energy Ltd
- Central Petroleum Ltd
This information was gathered in support of Market Forces’ shareholder action work, which supports shareholders and affected community members to take their climate and environmental concerns directly to companies and their directors.
We have not conducted an exhaustive review of all ASX companies’ climate risk disclosures, and we expect there will be more examples like those identified here.