Keeping Good Company in the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy? An Evaluation of Climate Risk Disclosure Practices in Australia

1 Corporate and Securities Law Journal 1

Penn State Law Research Paper No. 16-2017

30 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2017 Last revised: 17 Oct 2017

See all articles by Anita Foerster

Anita Foerster

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation

Jacqueline Peel

University of Melbourne - Law School

Hari M. Osofsky

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law

Brett McDonnell

University of Minnesota Law School

Date Written: May 12, 2017

Abstract

Private sector action to reduce carbon emissions and increase uptake of clean energy practices is critical to achieving the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement and averting dangerous climate change. An important driver is disclosure of the business risks posed by climate change (including physical risks to company assets or supply chains and financial transition risks, associated with changing law and policy, markets and technology). For companies, climate risk disclosure focuses attention internally on managing risk and harnessing associated market opportunities. Disclosure is also essential to market transparency, providing external stakeholders, such as institutional investors, with the information required to manage long-term investment risks. This article canvasses legal and policy frameworks for carbon risk disclosure in Australia, and samples the disclosure practices of a group of large Australian companies. It argues that current regulations and associated practices are not fit for purpose and proposes reforms to bring Australia into line with comparable jurisdictions internationally.

Keywords: climate change, carbon risk, disclosure, Australian regulations, Paris Agreement

Suggested Citation

Foerster, Anita and Peel, Jacqueline and Osofsky, Hari M. and McDonnell, Brett H., Keeping Good Company in the Transition to a Low Carbon Economy? An Evaluation of Climate Risk Disclosure Practices in Australia (May 12, 2017). 1 Corporate and Securities Law Journal 1, Penn State Law Research Paper No. 16-2017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3018241

Anita Foerster

Monash University - Department of Business Law & Taxation ( email )

Caulfield Campus
Sir John Monash Drive
Caulfield East, Victoria 3084
Australia

Jacqueline Peel (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia
+613 8344 1115 (Phone)
+613 9347 2394 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.unimelb.edu.au/about/staff/jacqueline-peel

Hari M. Osofsky

Northwestern Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-3069
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.law.northwestern.edu/faculty/profiles/HariMOsofsky/

Brett H. McDonnell

University of Minnesota Law School ( email )

229 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States
612-625-1373 (Phone)

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