At COP 27 ACCA adds its voice to the urgent climate change conversation

Mobilising green finance is essential to achieving targets

Mobilising finance expertise is vital to the goal of bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward.

Vikas Aggarwal, regional head of public affairs at ACCA, said: ‘COP26 in Glasgow laid the foundations for a renewed focus on climate action. And we were pleased to see so many meaningful discussions that sought to identify opportunities for action. It is a critical decade for climate action, and mobilising finance experts, stakeholders and leaders is vital in bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward.’

Aggarwal spoke at the British Egyptian Business Association’s panel on Green finance – Enabling conditions including behavioural change to achieve climate targets, and sustainability reporting.

He said: ‘Ring-fencing and mobilising green finance is essential to achieving climate targets. But in order to access that financing, we need governments and businesses to improve how they communicate to the global investment community. The implementation of internationally recognised sustainability reporting standards will support businesses, large and small, in accessing funds to deliver against sustainability targets. Finance professionals are essential in creating and communicating integrated business value to investors and regulators.’

Aggarwal also represented ACCA at the Turkey Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change panel on Re-building global standards in reporting ecosystems. 

He said: ‘It is ACCA’s long-held belief that the accounting profession sits at the heart of sustainable business. Finance professionals ensure economies are resilient, ethical and inclusive. ACCA also recognises that like any profession, we must adapt and evolve to meet new expectations from society, and to deliver public value. ACCA, through our work on integrated reporting, has contributed to the development of a global set of sustainability standards which will support a fair and just transition to a sustainable ecosystem.’

The time for urgent climate change action to create a better world has never been more pressing – that much was clear as Egypt took its turn to host the global climate conference COP27. Delegates and experts joined a series of events to assess progress towards achieving the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and finance professionals and experts including representatives of ACCA lent their voice to the conversation.

Underpinning the profession’s mandate to enable meaningful change are several reports published by the UNFCCC’s Standing Committee on Finance that present the landscape of climate finance and assess progress towards the goals set out by the Paris Agreement. COP27 also marks one year since the formation of the ISSB (International Sustainability Standards Board) to develop a global baseline of sustainability disclosures to meet the information needs of investors.

On that anniversary ACCA welcomed the ISSB’s new partnership framework announced at COP27 which is designed to achieve global implementation of climate-related disclosures.

As a founding partner ACCA sees the framework as a way to support the global accountancy profession in contributing to a better world.

Emmeline Skelton, ACCA’s head of sustainability, said: ‘Recent ACCA research found that global organisations are attaching more importance to environmental factors and expect significant changes in business practices to meet net-zero targets. The research also showed organisations lack skills and expertise. A significant upskilling is required.

‘ACCA’s research on what makes a sustainable business informs the ACCA qualification and professional offering ensuring the  accounting profession is fit to discharge its purpose in creating, protecting and communicating sustainable value.’ 

As a member of the A4S Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), ACCA has  joined 12 other accountancy bodies to commit to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their own organisations, as well as provide an enabling environment for their membership to do the same.

Editor’s Notes

COP27 is the 27th edition of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and took place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt between November 6 and 18.

See here for more on the ISSB partnership framework.

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" It is a critical decade for climate action, and mobilising finance experts, stakeholders and leaders is vital in bending the curve of global greenhouse gas emissions downward."

Vikas Aggarwal - ACCA