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IFAC Calls for International Agreement on Global Emissions

IFAC Submits Letter of Support to UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

Oct 15, 2015 | New York, New York | English

The International Federation of Accountants® (IFAC®), the global body for the accountancy profession, today expressed its support to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change as it facilitates a new international agreement on emissions reduction targets leading up to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties, which takes place in Paris in December. IFAC supports a universal agreement and effective international dialogue to encourage the transition toward resilient, low-carbon societies and economies.

Climate change is a seminal and intractable public interest issue, affecting organizations and global markets and the societies they serve. An international agreement on long-term global emissions reduction will assist governments, capital markets, and private and public sector organizations—and the professional accountants who serve them—to more confidently identify necessary actions to mitigate climate change. A strong and clear agreement is also more likely to unleash government and business ingenuity and innovation in both managing and solving climate change challenges.

IFAC’s three key messages on climate action are:

  • A global climate agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties needs to deliver a clear framework for international action that provides the policy environment to facilitate investment and innovation.
  • Going forward, it will be important to examine the range of different reporting frameworks and regulations in existence and identify a path to global consistency to ensure governments and businesses are given a clear and consistent context in which to operate and report on their actions.
  • Professional accountants in their various roles―in public practice for accounting firms of all sizes and working in business, industry, and the public and not-for-profit sectors―have a significant contribution to make in helping governments, capital markets, and organizations implement plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They have long been on the front-lines of helping others adapt to changes in society; mitigating and adapting to the challenges of climate change will be no different.

“Climate change is subject to intense public debate and scrutiny. But what is clear is that there is a critical economic, business, and societal need to respond to the warming of the climate by reducing global emissions,” according to IFAC CEO Fayez Choudhury. “Increased climate risk presents uncertainty creating threats and opportunities for governments and businesses and the societies they serve. This issue is important to the global accountancy profession and we aim to continue working with a range of stakeholders to address the challenges ahead.”

IFAC’s submission joins the many other voices that are encouraging a strong international agreement, including:

  • Investors: In an open letter to finance ministers of the Group of Seven (G-7), 120 investor CEOs from around the world who manage funds worth more than USD $12 trillion urged the inclusion of a long-term emissions reduction goal in the international climate agreement.
  • Companies: In an open letter to world leaders, CEOs of 43 large global companies asked for an ambitious climate change agreement; signatories included IKEA, Erikson, Lafarge, Volvo, BT, Marks & Spencer, Munich RE, Unilever, and Vestas.
  • CEOs of oil and gas companies: ln an open letter to the UN and governments, the CEOs of six major oil and gas companies called for global carbon pricing.

About IFAC
IFAC is the global organization for the accountancy profession, dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. It is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing over 2.8 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.