Accounting Bodies Net Zero Commitment
The impacts of climate change are already being felt throughout the world and the next decade is critical to limit its negative effects. To limit the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C, emissions need to halve by 2030, and drop to net zero by the middle of the century for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
That is why 14 accounting bodies, members of our Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), are publicly committing to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their own organizations, as well as provide an enabling environment for their membership to do the same.
Representing 2.5 million accountants globally, the accounting bodies have committed to provide the training and infrastructure to support their membership to achieve net zero ambitions.
The accountancy profession can play a significant and vital role in achieving rapid reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as well as supporting action to adapt to the physical impacts arising from global warming.
Jessica Fries, Executive Chair, A4S said, “The accounting community plays a vital role in helping to tackle climate change, but many accountants are unsure where to start. By committing to net zero GHG emissions, the leading professional bodies signing the ABN Net Zero Statement of Support are signalling the importance of action and committing to help their millions of members to respond. By mobilizing this army of accountants, all segments of the economy – from large to small – can be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create a sustainable future for us all.”
ABN NET ZERO COMMITMENT
From the chief executives of global accountancy bodies
We are the chief executives of the global professional accountancy bodies listed below and members of The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) Accounting Bodies Network (ABN). We represent over 2.5 million professional accountants and students across 179 countries.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt throughout the world and the next decade is critical to limit its negative effects. With climate change comes potentially profound negative economic consequences including impacts on production, financial stability, living standards and employment, and more widely on social cohesion and political stability, along with the further degrading of the natural environment upon which we depend.
We recognise the scale of the effort needed both to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change: last year, the ABN released a call to action in response to the crucial role we can play in addressing climate change, and ABN members have already begun to take steps to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in line with these commitments*. The recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned of severe consequences of a failure to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5°C and of the physical impacts that we are already certain to see. To limit the increase in global average temperatures to 1.5°C, emissions need to halve by 2030, and drop to net zero by the middle of the century for the best chance of avoiding the worst impacts of climate change.
Accountants and finance professionals, using their specific skills and expertise, can play a key role in helping our political leaders and the business community achieve commitments to reduce GHG emissions to net zero in line with the Paris Agreement.
For our professional organizations, we commit to:
1. Reach net zero GHG emissions as soon as operationally possible, informed by science and in line with global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C.
2. Within the next 12 months, publish a net zero emissions pathway (including targets) and report annually to show our GHG emissions reductions and trajectory towards net zero emissions.
For our members, we commit to:
3. Encourage and provide our members with the training, support and resources they need to establish their own net zero pathways and reduce GHG emissions.
4. Provide sound advice to help governments create the policy and regulatory infrastructure necessary for a just transition to a net zero carbon economy.
While addressing climate change through our own operations is critical, we also wish to ensure others benefit from our transition. Therefore, we aim to share our experiences, and that of others, as examples to support our members, their clients and the wider business community, as they implement their own net zero GHG emissions pathways.
In signing this statement, we are signalling our commitment, as members of the global accounting profession, to a net zero GHG emissions future.
- Rune Aale-Hansen, CEO, Regnskap Norge
- Helen Brand OBE, Chief Executive, ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
- J Bruce Cartwright, Chief Executive, ICAS
- Margaret W.S. Chan, Chief Executive and Registrar, Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants
- Barry Dempsey, Chief Executive, Chartered Accountants Ireland
- Heather Hill, President, Association of Accounting Technicians
- Andrew Hunter, CEO, CPA Australia
- Michael Izza, Chief Executive, ICAEW
- Barry Melancon, CEO, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants
- Massimo Miani, President, Consiglio Nazionale dei Dottori Commercialisti e degli Esperti Contabili
- Klaus-Peter Naumann, CEO, Institut der Wirtschaftsprüfer in Deutschland e.V. (IDW)
- Ainslie van Onselen, CEO, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
- Charles-Antoine St-Jean, President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada
- Masahiko Tezuka, Chairman and President, The Japanese Institute of Certified Public Accountants (JICPA)