Media release

Australian business must come clean to investors on climate risks, taskforce warns

There’s no excuse for directors to not consider climate change in their business dealings, the Future Business Council says.


An international taskforce has warned business must come clean on their exposure to climate change.


The taskforce, which includes representatives of banks and mining companies including BHP Billiton, says listed companies should show investors how they identify, assess and manage climate risks and opportunities as well as how climate change impacts their business.


It comes just months after the release of new legal opinion in Australia which determined directors must make themselves aware of the risks of climate change to their business and may need to go further by taking appropriate steps to mitigate against this, or disclose such issues to shareholders.


Future Business Council chief executive Tom Quinn says Australian businesses can and should comply and doing so will allow them to capitalise on what is promising to be the next boom.


“Investors are looking for clean, low carbon products and are getting out of fossil fuels at a pace unimaginable even 18 months ago,” Mr Quinn said.


“The writing is on the wall for companies and countries that are dependent on fossil fuels. Divestment combined with class actions against directors for failing to consider climate change and the low carbon economy are accelerating.


“Companies that are failing to disclose their exposure to climate and carbon risks will be the first to bear the brunt of investors dissatisfaction.”