Global accounting profession unites to target net zero emissions

| October 6, 2021

Australia’s major professional accounting bodies CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) have joined 10 global and national accounting bodies to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions.

The global launch is an initiative of The Prince of Wales’ Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) Project Accounting Bodies Network (ABN).

Representing over 300,000 accountants globally, CPA Australia and CA ANZ acknowledge the impact of climate change and the urgency of taking national and international action to achieve net zero emissions.

Climate change is an economic risk. The accounting profession plays a significant role in tackling the challenges created by climate change. Accountants work in every sector of the economy. Achieving net zero emissions requires the skills and knowledge of accounting professionals, who are eager to help chart a course of action.

CPA Australia and CA ANZ have pledged to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions within their own organisations and to provide sound advice to governments for a just transition to a net zero emissions economy.

We have also committed to providing training and guidance to our members to support them in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their own organisations and businesses.

CPA Australia Chief Executive Andrew Hunter said the accounting profession occupies a privileged position in the global economy.

“As trusted advisers, we’re privy to deep business insights about sustainability risks and opportunities. This knowledge creates an obligation to use our skills to protect our environmental heritage. CPA Australia is a global organisation in a global profession and we’re proud to be part of the global response to climate change.”

CA ANZ Chief Executive Ainslie van Onselen said the pandemic has been a living example of the significant impact that non-financial risks can have on businesses and global economies.

“Climate change is a non-financial risk that is no longer an issue on the horizon, it’s here and now. CA ANZ is committed to equipping members to meet these new challenges. As customers and investors increasingly consider sustainability in their decision making, the accounting profession is well placed to support a just transition.”

Executive Chairman of A4S Jessica Fries said the accounting bodies making this commitment are showing leadership in the fight against climate change. Accountants who work for the good of their businesses, and serve the public interest, have always been the backbone of stable economies. This commitment brings us closer to building a sustainable world.” 

The importance of today’s launch is underscored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, which revealed that Australia’s climate warmed by around 1.4°C between 1910 and 2020. The economic impact of climate change is also gaining attention in the lead-up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) next month.

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