Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CSA Finds Corporate Climate Change Risk Reports Failing to Satisfy Investors

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

CSA Finds Corporate Climate Change Risk Reports Failing to Satisfy Investors

Article excerpt

Climate change risk reports inconsistent: CSA


CALGARY - A year-long review of climate change risk reporting by large Canadian publicly traded companies has found huge disparities in practices between corporations and industries but recommends no immediate action.

Further work is planned to develop new guidelines and potentially new rules to help companies comply with disclosure rules, according to a report from the Canadian Securities Administrators, a national body representing provincial securities regulators, released Thursday.

Climate change disclosure is a hot topic among investors, the CSA says, adding users it consulted say companies need to improve how they report climate change risks and financial impacts, with many complaining that current disclosures either don't exist or are "boilerplate," vague or incomplete.

"We now have a better understanding of the current state of climate change-related disclosure in Canada," said CSA chair Louis Morisset.

"Moving forward, we will aim to improve the disclosure of risks and related governance and oversight processes, while recognizing both investors' and issuers' perspectives."

Shareholder-sponsored motions related to climate change risk reporting are being put forward for investor votes at upcoming annual general meetings of Imperial Oil Ltd., which is urging rejection of a motion, and pipeline company TransCanada Corp., which recommends acceptance.

It is "disturbing" that the CSA found such widespread dissatisfaction with the current level of disclosure, said Frank Allen, executive director of the Canadian Foundation For Advancement of Shareholder Rights.

"(It) underscores the pressing need for guidance and education of issuers on climate change-related risks, which are likely to become increasingly more important and relevant information for investors and shareholders," he said in a statement. …

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