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Key Messages to the UN's COP 25 from the Accountancy Profession

Dec 3, 2019 | English

As the UN Climate Change Conference (COP) meets this week, IFAC urges decisive action to put the world on a path to a sustainable future. To clearly articulate the role of the global accounting profession in addressing the climate emergency, IFAC published its Point of View on climate action.

In the Point of View, IFAC sets forth recommendations for various stakeholders:

  • Governments can take advantage of The UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP) to provide clear direction on reducing long-term emissions, to deliver greater certainty for business, and to encourage investment in low-emissions technology and innovation.
  • Businesses can accelerate plans for climate change mitigation and adaptation. They can deliver transparency and confidence through reliable and decision-useful climate related information.
  • Professional accountancy organizations (PAOs) have an influential role in influencing climate change mitigation and adaptation as advocates for the profession and providers of accounting training and support. PAOs can commit to keeping accountants informed of how they can support their organizations’ and clients’ efforts to respond to climate risk.
  • Accountants can encourage and enable meaningful action on climate change as influential advisors in governments and organizations. They can achieve this by providing relevant insights, analysis, reporting, and assurance to help organizations create and protect value over the long-term.

At the global level, IFAC is committed to working with the global profession to build the knowledge and capacity of accountants to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to speaking out on climate action on behalf of the accounting profession, working through the B20, G20, and OECD.

“Ignoring the impact of climate change is not an option – nor is business as usual,” said IFAC CEO, Kevin Dancey. “As instrumental members or advisers of every government, business, and not-for-profit organization, professional accountants must influence and enable the transition to a low-carbon society.”

The conversations at COP 25 this week will be particularly important to provide clarity in reducing long-term emissions to meet the Paris Agreement. All actors in the global economy must usefully contribute, and professional accountancy remains a committed part of the solution.

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. IFAC is comprised of more than 175 members and associates in more than 130 countries and jurisdictions, representing almost 3 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.