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When chartered accountants save the world

Michael Izza on members’ core role in tackling the climate crisis

Author: ICAEW Insights

Published: 03 Nov 2021

ICAEW’s chief executive explains why and how chartered accountants must help solve the biggest problem the world’s ever faced.

Michael Izza is keen to point out that climate change is no longer a matter of ‘when’ or ‘if’. It’s already with us, it’s already causing widespread damage and disruption, and “the sad truth is it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.” 

It’s also clear, he says, that this is not something that can be tackled by markets alone or by existing regulation. He acknowledges it might seem strange for a chartered accountant to be advocating intervention and regulation but we face a crisis that can only be solved by strong collective action. He also sees regulation as a “dynamic way of dealing with a particular problem.” Regulation can be introduced and then adjusted to ensure it works as well as possible, he says.

All professions have a role to play in tackling this crisis by bringing their skills and deep experience to bear and by working together. For chartered accountants, it doesn’t matter whether they work in practice or in industry and whether they work for micro firm or a mega corporation, there is a core role to play.