Climate Horizons 2018




CPD has released its latest report on how Australian companies, investors and policymakers can manage climate risks and support a transition to a zero carbon economy.

Climate Horizons 2018Scenarios and Strategies for Managing Climate Risk was written by Sam Hurley and Kate Mackenzie and features input from ClimateWorks Australia. It builds on a 2017 discussion paper which set out five essential principles for high-quality climate risk analysis by Australian firms and investors.

The report shows that, a year on from the TCFD’s landmark report on how businesses should disclose climate change risks, more Australian companies are considering what climate change and the Paris Agreement mean for their strategies and investments.

However, serious deficiencies remain in the quality and consistency of climate-related disclosures – especially on the TCFD’s landmark recommendation that companies conduct scenario analysis to test their resilience in a well-below-2-degree world.

Many scenario exercises to date have used conservative assumptions, overlooked physical impacts of climate change, and failed to disclose impacts on corporate decisions and strategy.

Companies and investors that overlook or misjudge crucial climate impacts and transitions risk major long-term losses and lost opportunities. More rigorous and ambitious scenario analysis can strengthen business plans and support investments and strategies to drive a low-carbon transition.

Download Climate Horizons 2018

Climate change is not some distant threat. It is a global tragedy unfolding before our eyes, disrupting ecosystems, communities and economies. For companies, investors and financiers the risks and opportunities are immediate and pressing.

The expectations of markets and policymakers on emissions reduction targets and adaptation measures are ramping up.

Key recommendations

Climate Horizons 2018 offers a resource for those developing and interpreting scenario analysis in the business community. It also provides updated recommendations on next steps that Australia’s financial regulators can take to support better climate-related risk disclosure and management – building on crucial progress since the beginning of 2017.  The report calls for:

  • New guidance on climate risks by ASIC, the RBA and other regulators to support momentum for better disclosure of climate-related risks by Australian companies and investors.
  • Close monitoring of climate-related financial disclosures over the next 12 months to assess the case for more demanding mandatory reporting requirements.
  • A systematic review of sustainable finance in Australia, drawing on an emerging global policy agenda that connects green finance with a wider range of sustainability-related challenges and opportunities.

Legal opinion

Climate Horizons 2018 builds on CPD’s influential research and policy development on climate-related risks since 2016. This included the landmark legal opinion by Noel Hutley SC and Sebastian Hartford-Davis on company directors’ duties to consider and disclose climate-related risks. MinterEllison’s Sarah Barker, who was the instructing solicitor on the Hutley opinion, has provided a primer on climate risks for company directors to accompany the report: see The climate risk reporting journey: A corporate governance primer.

Climate Horizons 2018 Event

Listen to an audio recording of the full event here.

Climate Horizons 2018 was discussed at a CPD public forum in Sydney on financing a sustainable economy on 18 June. The event featured a keynote address by ASIC Commissioner John Price on ASIC’s views and priorities on climate-related risks.

“Indeed, directors would do well to carefully consider the memorandum of opinion by Noel Hutley QC and Sebastian Hartford-Davis on climate change and directors duties which was commissioned some time ago by the host of this evening’s event.[2] …the Hutley opinion highlights and reinforces the need for directors to adopt a probative and proactive approach in assembling the information reasonably required to inform their decision making in this area.”

“Generally, we encourage companies and directors to carefully consider the TCFD’s report, not just in the disclosure context, but as a key resource to assist in understanding, identifying and managing climate risk and climate opportunity.”

The event followed a similar CPD forum in November 2017, when APRA’s Geoff Summerhayes provided the influential speech “The weight of money: a business case for climate risk resilience.”

Climate Horizons 2018 In the Media

An ASIC commissioner has urged company directors to take seriously a leading barrister's opinion that they could face lawsuits for failing to consider risks related to climate change. As large corporations face pressure to tell their investors more about risks they
The corporate regulator has urged Australian companies to undertake formal modelling of the risks posed by climate change to their businesses, warning directors may be unable to escape legal breaches about nondisclosure if they have failed to properly assess it. ASIC
The corporate regulator has encouraged companies to go beyond meeting strict legal requirements and voluntarily disclose climate change risks and opportunities to the market. Australian Securities and Investments Commission commissioner John Price told a Centre for Policy Development forum on Monday
Australian companies are not doing enough work to model the risks of climate change and how it will affect their profitability, a new report by a thinktank says. Progressive thinktank the Centre for Policy Development says that while most companies have
Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said. However, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) said companies
Australian companies need to start developing sophisticated scenario-based analyses of climate risks, and incorporating them into their business outlooks so shareholders know how climate change will affect profitability, a thinktank has said. However, the Centre for Policy Development (CPD) said companies
Climate scenario analysis is the subject of a new discussion paper called Climate horizons: next steps for scenario analysis in Australia, released today by the Centre for Policy Development (CPD). It comes four months after the Financial Stability Board’s Taskforce