Media Release: Australia desperately needs climate risk disclosure recommendations

29 June 2017

Reacting to the release of the Financial Stability Board’s final recommendations from its Task Force on Climate Change-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), Market Forces Analyst Daniel Gocher said:

“These recommendations are sorely needed in Australia, which was recently rated by S&P as being one of the highest carbon-exposed markets in the world.

“These recommendations make it clear that the sectors most vulnerable to climate risk, particularly Energy and Utilities, must act swiftly to implement these recommendations, disclosing to investors how exposed they are to climate change impacts, and also efforts to transition the economy away from carbon-intensive activites.

“Unfortunately, given the glacial pace at which corporate Australia has tackled climate risk to date, unless the recommendations are mandatory, implementation is likely to be haphazard, and slow.
“There is now an onus on government, and more importantly our regulators – APRA and ASIC – to implement the TCFD recommendations as soon as possible.“There are also recommendations for banks, insurers and asset owners like our super funds – they too must improve disclosure by providing far more detailed information on climate risk than they currently do.

“Particularly for insurers and super funds that are heavily exposed to carbon intensive industries, or real assets prone to the physical impacts of climate change, disclosure is absolutely necessary.”

Market Forces will over the next week write to over a dozen major Australian companies, exposed to climate change-related risks, to establish whether they plan to implement the TCFD recommendations.

“The release of these final recommendations could not have come at a better time for Australia, as our corporate sector now has ample opportunity to incorporate them into their 2017 reporting”

“We hope to find out which companies are taking climate change risk disclosure seriously, and look forward to working closely with the ones that are trying to keep these risks hidden from investors”, said Mr Gocher.