On 2 February 2016, the Senate referred the matter of carbon risk
disclosure to the Senate Economics References Committee for inquiry and report
by 22 June 2016.
The terms of reference for the inquiry were:
Carbon risk disclosure in regard to:
- current and emerging
international carbon risk disclosure frameworks;
- current carbon risk
disclosure practices within corporate Australia;
- Australian involvement in
the G20 Financial Stability Board discussions on carbon risk impacts for financial
- current regulatory and policy
oversight of carbon risk disclosure across government agencies; and
- any other related matters.
The inquiry lapsed at the end of the 44th Parliament.
On 11 October 2016, the Senate agreed to the committee's recommendation
that this inquiry be re-adopted in the 45th Parliament, with a
report by 31 March 2017.
On 30 March 2017, the Senate granted an extension to report by 7 April
Subsequently, the reporting date was extended to 21 April 2017.
All evidence previously received for this inquiry has been accepted as
evidence for the new inquiry.
Conduct of the inquiry
In accordance with its usual processes, the committee advertised the
inquiry on its website, and wrote to relevant organisations to invite
submissions. Thirty-three submissions were received in the 44th
Parliament, with a further six in response to the re-adopted inquiry. A list of
submissions to the inquiry is at Appendix 1.
In December 2016, that is, well after submissions to the original inquiry
had been received, the Financial Stability Board's (FSB) Task Force on
Climate-related Financial Disclosures published its recommendations. These
recommendations have advanced consideration of carbon risk disclosure
The committee conducted a public hearing in Sydney on 8 March 2017. The
names of witnesses who appeared at the hearing are at Appendix 2.
Structure of this report
The report comprises four chapters, including this introductory chapter:
Chapter 2 discusses the rationale for corporate disclosure and
the need for carbon risk disclosure. It also briefly outlines Australia's
exposure to carbon risk.
Chapter 3 describes the relevant frameworks for reporting carbon
risk in Australia. It summarises the relevant legislative, regulatory and
voluntary reporting frameworks, and provides details of international
comparators and the FSB Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures.
Chapter 4 outlines the state of carbon risk disclosure practices
in Australia, and lays out options for reform.
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