CPD climate work featured in 4Corners ‘Weather Alert’ report

Last night the ABC’s 4Corners program aired a special report about how Australian farmers, businesses and regulators are responding to climate change.

CPD’s Sustainable Economy Program has been making the case for business leaders and regulators to seize the initiative on responding to climate change, rather than be paralysed by the inaction of policymakers.

Weather Alert‘ showcased some of the highlights of CPD’s research and advocacy, and how this work is contributing to a major shift in corporate and regulatory leadership on climate change. These included:

  • The Noel Hutley SC opinion on company directors’ legal obligations to consider how climate change is impacting their businesses. CPD commissioned this opinion with the Future Business Council in 2016.
  • A major speech given by APRA’s Geoff Summerhayes at CPD’s ‘Building a sustainable economy forum in November 2017. Geoff’s speech highlighted the risks and opportunities climate change creates for Australia’s banks, insurance firms and superannuation funds, and provided another powerful signal that APRA and other regulators are now paying more attention to the financial impacts of climate change.
  • Recent statements by RBA Governor Philip Lowe endorsing new global standards for the disclosure of climate risk and confirming the Council of Financial Regulators has established a new working group to focus on these issues. Both of these steps were key recommendations of CPD’s 2017 Climate horizons report by Sam Hurley and Kate Mackenzie.


CPD Policy Director Sam Hurley, who was interviewed by 4Corners for the report, said that recent public statements by APRA and the Reserve Bank represented some overdue long-term leadership on the growing impacts of climate change:

“I think it sends a very powerful message.

The RBA and APRA – they’re big, serious institutions. They don’t take these steps lightly. They’re not talking about climate on a whim.

They’ve studied the evidence, they’ve looked at what their counterparts are doing internationally, and they’ve looked at the trends and risks in Australia, and they’ve decided that now’s the time to raise the bar.

It would have been very hard to see 12 months ago when there was a lump of coal doing the rounds of parliament, that Australia’s key financial regulators would provide such decisive leadership on climate risk over the next 12 months.

But they have, starting with APRA and now the RBA and that’s potentially very significant.”

You can see the full report or read a transcript here: http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/weather-alert/9511070

Associated media coverage 

While politicians question the reality of climate change, farmers and businesses act  Michael Brissenden, ABC News Online, 5 March

The Australian farmers adapting to climate change ABC Radio AM, 5 March

Related reading

Legal opinion and roundtable on directors duties and climate risk – CPD, October 2016

The evolving role of company directors  –  CPD board member Sam Mostyn’s address to ACID 2018 Governance Summit, March 2018

Grey clouds and silver linings – climate change a financial reality for Australian business – Sarah Barker, Minter Ellison, December 2017



Leave a Comment