This paper seeks to explore the gaps between regulatory requirements and authoritative guidance regarding climate disclosure in Australia; reporting practices; and the demands for increased disclosure and standardization of that disclosure.
The Draft Reporting Framework of the Climate Disclosure Standards Board (CDSB) is used to develop a scoring system against which the climate disclosures of one large Australian company that has received awards for its disclosure record are assessed. Relevant theories of voluntary disclosure are used to explain the findings.
The results of this analysis indicate an inadequate amount of disclosure in this company's reports about some aspects of climate change impacts and their management. Further, the disclosures that are made tend to lack technical detail and are somewhat skewed towards the more positive aspects of climate change impacts and management.
These findings are based on just one large Australian company that has received commendations for its climate disclosure record, and may therefore not reflect the climate disclosure practices of other Australian companies.
The results of this case study appear to support calls for increased guidelines for the disclosure of climate change related information and greater standardization of reporting. Several potential policy options for doing this are assessed.
The paper uses an objective measure to assess climate change disclosures which was developed for this research. The results are expected to be useful for informing the continuing debate around the regulation of and/or provision of guidance to Australian companies about the disclosure of climate change related information.
Cotter, J., Najah, M. and Sophie Wang, S. (2011), "Standardized reporting of climate change information in Australia", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 294-321. https://doi.org/10.1108/20408021111185420
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