Finance industry backs push on mandatory climate disclosure

The financial services industry has strongly backed a government push to make disclosure of climate-related risks mandatory for companies and financial institutions, in legislative changes that could come into force for larger businesses as soon as next year.

The federal government on Monday started a consultation process with the industry as it works to introduce standardised, internationally aligned reporting requirements for businesses to report on the physical and transition risks from the impact of climate change.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Australian Sustainable Finance Institute chief executive Kristy Graham on Monday. Credit:Dominic Lorrimer

The move follows the passing of legislation in countries such as New Zealand and the United Kingdom which have made climate-related disclosures mandatory for certain businesses. The US, Switzerland and Singapore are also developing similar requirements, as international markets increasingly recognise the risk to the global financial system brought on by climate change.

If Australia lags other comparable jurisdictions in this area, it risks missing out on international investment, Treasurer Jim Chalmers told an Australian Sustainable Finance Institute forum on Monday.

He also said the government would be focusing on greenwashing, asking regulators to double down on efforts to crack down on dodgy sustainability claims from businesses.

The announcement to start developing a climate disclosure regime was welcomed on Monday by peak…

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