The world’s accountants must put their skills to use to help businesses fight climate change, say the CEOs of leading accounting professional bodies.

Why should accountants be involved in climate change?

14 major accounting bodies said their members had a critical role to play due to their expertise with advising businesses about risk management and their responsibility to act in the public interest.

Tackling climate change needs practical measurement and management, and accountants are key to helping businesses build sustainability into their working practices, commercial relationships and supply chains.

An accountant’s role should demonstrate the risks to business posed by climate change, such as the impact of flooding or the effect of drought on the price of crops needed in the supply chain.

As core members of almost every business, government, and non-governmental organisation, accountants are ideally positioned to help organisations assess and manage these new risks.

Accountants have an important role to play improving an organisation’s integrated thinking and decision-making capabilities to promote responsible business practices, improving outcomes for both stakeholders and our environment.

– Barry Melancon, CEO of the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

What can accountants do to support this call to action?

The Call to Action asks accountants across the world to:

  • integrate climate change risk into organisational strategy, finance, operations, and communications.
  • support sustainable decision-making
  • provide sound advice and services

The global accounting bodies have pledged to provide support to help their members fulfil this role.

Accountants have a crucial role to play in the fight against climate change because:

  • the transition to a net zero carbon economy will rely on adapting economic policy and associated market mechanisms. Accounting practices are central to achieving both.
  • accountants must act on economic, social and business risks, and climate change is one of the biggest we face.
  • professional accountants have a responsibility to act in the public interest, which must now include helping organisations to address climate change.

Who has signed up to the Call to Action?

The full list of global bodies which have signed up to the call to action is:

  • Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)
  • Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA)
  • Association of International Certified Professional Accountants (the unified voice of AICPA and CIMA)
  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ)
  • Chartered Accountants Ireland (CAI)
  • Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori commercialistie degli Esperti Contabili (CNDCEC)
  • CPA Australia
  • CPA Canada
  • Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
  • Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS)
  • International Federation of Accountants
  • Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)
  • Regnskap Norge/Accounting Norway

Read the full call to action at www.accountingforsustainability.org/abn-climate-action

Featured photo by CPA Canada

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