- The annual CA ANZ Climate Survey asked members about their involvement in climate action and their views on what governments and the membership body are doing.
- The majority of members work for organisations that have integrated climate action into strategy and risk frameworks.
- Members are becoming more aware of how climate risk is impacting their organisation.
By Ben Falkenmire
More than two-thirds (68%) of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand members believe that climate is having a material impact on their organisations, with 24% rating the impact as ‘severe’, a new survey reveals.
CA ANZ’s 2022 Climate Survey of 961 members reveals a 6% uptick in awareness of how climate risk is impacting their organisation compared with last year, driven mostly by members in the corporate sector.
The survey also revealed members are seeking more information in order to upskill in this space.
What members think
Half of the 961 chartered accountants surveyed are personally involved in identifying and measuring climate risks and opportunities, including litmus testing future scenarios. Two-thirds of respondents said the organisation they work for is engaged in climate-related activities within strategy or risk frameworks.
“Half of the 961 chartered accountants surveyed are personally involved in identifying and measuring climate risks and opportunities, including litmus testing future scenarios.”
The 10-minute survey, shared via social media and the CA ANZ website between 22 February and 8 March 2022 reveals an increase in member awareness of international developments including the recommendations by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.
Climate action was less relevant for members running practices, particularly in regional Australia and New Zealand where other priorities were of greater concern, highlighting the myriad of areas members are required to be across.
One member commented: “It is an important issue – but running a small public practice is tough going, so before we can focus on climate change, we are focused on surviving.”
Call for help from CA ANZ
As the world moves on from the pandemic, the survey reveals members have a thirst for information and are seeking more guidance from the membership body on climate and the environment.
The surveyed members did not feel they currently had enough information on climate risk for their daily roles. For example, only 44% of respondents in Australia and 43% in New Zealand said they had all the information they needed, with 79% overall calling for CA ANZ to continue to provide education in this space.
In addition, 79% of respondents also supported advocacy from CA ANZ on climate-related issues, up 12% from last year.
Lack of trust in government
The level of trust in governments taking appropriate action on climate-related issues decreased in both countries.
In Australia, three in five members believe the [Morrison] government is not taking the appropriate level of action, with a higher degree of distrust from members working for not-for-profits.
Members commented that the government needed to lead on climate action and the current government appeared to be not interested in the issue and, at worst, in denial about it.
In New Zealand, members are also losing trust in what the [Ardern] government is doing on climate action. Those disagreeing that the NZ government was taking appropriate steps was 27%, up 11% on the 2021 survey.
Find out more:
CA ANZ’s playbook on ‘How SMEs can create a more sustainable world’
A playbook for accountants in practice and finance teams in small and medium-sized organisations seeking to take sustainable action.Download the playbook
CA ANZ’s submissions on climate-related mattersView submissions
CA ANZ online hub on ClimateGo to the climate hub
CA ANZ online hub on Sustainable BusinessGo to the sustainable business hub
What are climate-related risks and why you should know about them
Physical and transition risk explained, and what this means for accountants.Read more
Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures: Here’s what you need to know
Here is a brief explanation of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations, sustainability reporting and what it all means for accountants.Read more