Helen Brand: ACCA marks Earth Day 2021

Helen Brand: ACCA marks Earth Day 2021

Helen Brand

Helen Brand, chief executive of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), discusses how the association is marking Earth Day this year.

This year, Earth Day is themed ‘restore the earth’ and here at ACCA we’re marking this occasion by focusing on the vital role the accountancy profession plays in sustainability and climate action.

At the New York Climate Action Week in September 2020, ACCA and IFAC organised a global webinar called Creating Value in a Climate Emergency: Recovery, Resilience, and the Transition. We were honoured to be joined by Mark Carney, COP 26 Finance Adviser and UN Special Envoy on Climate Action and Finance, who said that one of the aims of COP26 is to ensure we have the framework in place so that “every financial decision can take climate change into account.”

Mark Carney said that progress is happening with initiatives such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures Recommendations (TCFD), and that he and his COP26 team is working on ways to move from voluntary disclosures to mandatory reporting.
‘Mark Carney concluded by saying the accountancy profession is “absolutely essential” in achieving climate action and building a sustainable recovery.

And that’s because clear and consistent accounting standards and disclosures, which are understood by business and investors alike, are an essential part of the urgent policy solutions needed to tackle climate change. This is where the accountancy profession can bring its expertise into play, with its technical skills and knowledge to measure and report on progress related to climate disclosures and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

So as we celebrate Earth Day, and as ACCA begins its own journey to COP26 - whether virtual or not - and our commitments to the UN SDGs, we champion the accountancy profession’s role in climate action. As a global professional body, we strive for climate literacy for all our members, through the ACCA Qualification and the CPD we offer.’

To find out more, ACCA invites people to visit its new Rethinking Sustainable Business Hub and also join the Big Conversation on climate action which is also detailed on the Hub.

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