ASIC updates guidance on climate change

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has issued an update on its guidance on climate change related disclosure.

The regulator’s review, which followed the recommendations of a Senate Economics References Committee report on carbon risk, found that its existing regulatory guidance remained fit for purpose.

However, to help stakeholders comply with their disclosure obligations, ASIC issued the following update to its guidance, according to which, the parties should:

  • Incorporate the types of climate change risk developed by the G20 Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) into the list of examples of common risks;
  • Highlight climate change as a systemic risk that could impact an entity’s financial prospects for future years and that may need to be disclosed in an operating and financial review (OFR);
  • Reinforce that disclosures made outside the OFR (such as under the voluntary TCFD framework or in a sustainability report) should not be inconsistent with disclosures made in the OFR; and
  • Highlight climate change and other risks that may be relevant in determining key assumptions that underly impairment calculations

ASIC commissioner, John Price, said that climate change was an area which ASIC continued to focus and it would welcome the continuing emergence of the Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework as the preferred market standard, both here in Australia and internationally, for voluntary climate change related disclosures.

“While disclosure is critical, it is but one aspect of prudent corporate governance practices in connection with the mitigation of legal risks,” he said.

“Directors should be able to demonstrate that they have met their legal obligations in considering, managing and disclosing all material risks that may affect their companies. This includes any risks arising from climate change, be they physical or transitional risks.”



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