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Storm ahead? Corporate disclosure and investor risks on climate impacts and adaptation

In 2010, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Canadian Securities Administrators issued guidance on climate change risk disclosure. Interest of governments, regulators and investors for climate impacts and adaptation disclosure is growing. Furthermore, climate risk and adaptation considerations need to be disclosed if they are material to investor decision-making. Our review of 2010-11 annual securities disclosure to the U.S. SEC reveals that overall energy and mining companies express awareness about climate impacts and adaptation, but they do not provide evidence of comprehensive risk assessment and management work.

The number of shareholder resolutions filed against public companies in the U.S. and Canada on climate change impacts and adaptation issues nearly doubled between 2010 and 2011. Many resolutions request information on company climate change strategies and some go further, calling for executive compensation aligned with climate change performance.

Despite ongoing improvements, investors have criticised the quality and depth of information on climate change impacts and adaptation disclosed by public companies. Initiatives such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change (IIGCC) and Australia/New Zealand Investor Group on Climate Change constitute investor forums promoting improved climate change disclosure. For example, the CDP investor questionnaire and the INCR Global Framework for Climate Risk Disclosure are increasingly used as benchmark instruments for evaluating corporate disclosure.

Companies that do not disclose enough information on the impacts of a changing climate for their business and how they are planning to cope are exposed to potential criticism and legal dispute.


 The Acclimatise Disclosure and Investors Resource Centre

                           Read a sample of our disclosure insight pack 

Drawing on nearly ten years of experience helping some of the world's biggest companies adapt their management practices to cope with the impacts of climate change, and advising investor groups and asset managers on climate risk materiality, Acclimatise has developed a resource centre on climate change disclosure aimed at both companies and investors.

We have analysed securities and voluntary disclosures in the US and Canada released in 2010 and 2011 for signs of climate impacts and adaptation information and references to the SEC and CSA guidance documents on climate change risk disclosure. We have also reviewed all shareholder resolutions on climate impacts and adaptation issues filed since 2009.

-  Our insight pack will shed light on the evolution of climate impacts and adaptation disclosure and investor risks. A sample of the insight pack can be viewed in the live viewer (right). The full documents can be downloaded free from our 'Disclosure & Investors Library' by clicking here.

-  Our 'Dislosure & Investors Library' hosts a variety of reports and links to useful information on climate impacts and adaptation disclosure and investor requests.

-  In our 'Investor tools' section you will find information on our innovative, online, climate risk screening tool Aware™ for Investments. Aware™ can be used by companies to identify potential material business risks that may be of interest to investors. 


If you are a company and would like to understand what may constitute a material disclosure issue; or if you are an investor and wish to understand how your portfolio may be affected by climate change, please contact us by clicking here.


Use the links above to access our 'Dislosure and Investors Library', learn more about our revolutionary, online risk screening tools and access the latest news on corporate disclosure of climate change adaptation.



This page is intended as a reference resouce and should not be construed as legal advice. Actual disclosures, shareholder resolutions, reports, where highlighted or presented, are provided solely as examples.