Canada’s accountants ready national decarbonisation roadmap for COP26

Separately, the Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative has mooted an action plan to improve the “financial outcomes for First Nations peoples”

Canada’s accountancy body is creating a ‘roadmap’ to help policymakers, investors and companies prepare for the country’s climate transition. 

The report from the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada) will outline the actions needed to shift the fossil fuel-reliant economy to Net Zero. 

Building on consultations with domestic oil and gas companies, investors, industry and indigenous communities, the roadmap is due to be published in the next two months. Another public consultation will follow. 

The roadmap is intended to provide a basis for Canada’s climate negotiations at COP26 in November, where the world’s governments will gather in the UK to agree a new set of climate goals for the next five years. 

Last month, the International Energy Agency released a major report, commissioned by the UK in its role as COP host, which stated that new fossil fuel projects must be halted immediately if the global economy is to achieve its goal of Net Zero by 2050. 

Speaking about the upcoming roadmap, Davinder Valeri, Director of Strategy, Risk & Performance at CPA Canada, told RI: “We hope that the report will serve as a call to action for our members to begin recognising the risks posed by climate change and subsequently address those risks to ensure they can remain competitive in a low carbon economy.” 

CPA Canada began its work on climate risk at the behest of the country’s Expert Panel on Sustainable Finance – a government-backed advisory group including big names from pensions and banking, as well as Tiff Macklem, now Governor of the Bank of Canada. In 2019, the group asked CPA to “formulate guidance on an appropriate climate lens for Canadian accounting, auditing and assurance practices”. 

This request was met earlier this year, when CPA published a report in collaboration with The Prince of Wales's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S), a close partner organisation.

Elsewhere, fellow carbon-heavy economy Australia has published an update on its own climate ‘roadmap’, which was first published in November. 

The Australian Sustainable Finance Initiative (ASFI), the private sector-led body seeking to green Australia’s financial sector, released a report outlining progress made by some of its members against the 37 recommendations in the November document.

In its first implementation report, the group provides case studies to demonstrate how those recommendations are being taken up by members, which includes some of Australia’s biggest insurers, banks and super funds.

ASFI also unveiled its plans to develop a Reconciliation Action Plan Framework for the Finance Sector, with the aim of improving the “financial outcomes for First Nations peoples”. That work will involve a collaboration between Responsible Investment Association Australasia and NGO Reconciliation Australia.

The group is also recruiting new “founding members” as it seeks to become a permanent initiative.