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Asia’s investor network pledges support for global statement on fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure

ASrIA becomes the newest signatory to the Statement on fiduciary duty & climate change disclosure, a commitment to make use of climate change-related information as a matter of fiduciary duty.

Hong Kong, 29 April 2015ASrIA and its initiative, the Asia Investor Group on Climate Change (AIGCC), has given its support the Statement on fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure, coordinated by CDSB.

Jessica, Chief Executive of ASrIA and AIGCC, said: “Asia’s population, economies, cities and businesses are among the most vulnerable in the world to the effects of climate change.  And yet we are not doing enough to take action.  A critical piece of the jigsaw is ensuring that companies disclose their climate risks and actions to provide investors with the information they need.  This information is central to investment decision-making that takes account of medium to long term risks and ensures that investors play their role in allocating capital to its most productive use.”

“The statement on fiduciary duty and climate change disclosure is indicative of how important the need to address this information gap is.  Asia can and must transition to a low-carbon and climate resilient future, and its investors will be at the heart of this.  We encourage support for the statement as a vital step in creating the momentum needed to make change on climate change disclosure.”

Mardi McBrien, CDSB Managing Director said: “Through this commitment, signatories are contributing to addressing a crucial gap in the information on which markets operate. The statement sends a clear signal to companies, investors and regulators that in order to improve market resilience against the impacts of climate change, this gap must be closed.”

As the effects of climate change on economic activity become more significant, there is increasing demand from investors, trustees and other fiduciaries for consistent, comparable, actionable information on how corporates are using climate change information, for example, including this information in annual reports. 

As this presents a challenge for many companies, a leading group of global corporations and investors have committed themselves to report and make use of climate change information on a common basis in mainstream corporate reports. Examples of such information include climate change risks and opportunities affecting the organizations, what governance structures are in place within an organization to address these, as well as targets the company has to reduce its emissions.

The signatories feel strongly that reporting on climate-related information is part of their fiduciary responsibility.  It is the first time that such a significant collective commitment on climate disclosure has been undertaken.