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What's the role of the accountancy profession?

Insight and analysis on COP 28

Climate change is a crucial issue for the accounting profession. Time is running out to take action, and ICAEW and its global community of members are driving the change to protect the environment for future generations. Are you professionally ready to mitigate the risk and maximise the opportunity of climate change? Find inspiration, information and practical resources to support the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.


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Leadership  |  Emissions reduction  |  Adaptation
Climate finance  |  Climate reporting

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Making COP count

  • Hub page
  • 02 Nov 2023
Through a range of practical content and case studies, this content series looks at the role the accountancy profession can and should play in addressing the climate crisis, and ensuring that any action also restores the earth’s ecosystem and is socially just.
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Climate for SMEs: where to start, how to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt into the future.

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Featured content

Net Zero Accountancy Protocol

Professional bodies collaborate to develop a sector-specific guide to help accountancy firms reach net zero.
Smoking chimney


system change not climate change 24 March 2023
Skidmore report corroborates ICAEW’s key messages

In January 2023, former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore published his Net Zero Review, making 129 recommendations all geared towards maximising economic investment, opportunities and jobs.

Wind farm 28 Jul 22
Powering the labour market

The report finds that expanding solar and wind power has the capacity to create thousands more secure and skilled jobs across the whole of the UK, helping to reduce the cost of living, improve energy efficiency and advance the levelling up agenda.

Plastic bottles on orange background 6 December 2021
Plastic packaging tax to be introduced in 2022

Just months out from new plastic packaging taxes, businesses need to be ready for government measures to reduce plastic use and pollution. Prinal Nathwani, Holly Grantham and Jayne Harrold take a look at the proposed regimes in the UK and in Spain and Italy.

Evelyn Acham 17 Nov 2021
What it’s like being a climate activist in Uganda

The world needs activists to bring the biggest problems into stark relief, argues Evelyn Acham – the more the better.

Adair Turner 11 Nov 2021
Adair Turner: The mistakes we’ve made on climate, and where to focus now

The inaugural chair of the Climate Change Committee explains how the climate crisis breaks down into two distinct problems and discusses our chances of resolving them.

Michael Izza 3 Nov 2021
Michael Izza on the role of chartered accountants in tackling the climate crisis

Michael Izza, chief executive of ICAEW, tells chartered accountants how they can use their skills and experience to fight the climate crisis.

An electric car charging in a car park 29 Oct 2021
Climate change: the basics on getting started

Rebecca Self, Director of Financial Services and Isabel Hagbrink, Director of Communications at project developer and climate consultancy South Pole speak to ICAEW Insights about how businesses can get started on making a positive change for the climate.

The edge of a forest, with the land up to that edge littered with felled trees. 29 Oct 2021
Six ways to embed climate change risk management

Company directors need to treat climate change risk as a key risk to their business, and do so as a matter of urgency, a joint report from the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors and British Standards Institution shows.

Aerial shot above a circular fish farm in a loch, Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom 05 Oct 2021
Let’s hear it for the blue economy

The oceans capture carbon, regulate temperatures, and protect from severe weather events. They are also our heroes in helping us achieve the sustainable development goals so let’s applaud them.

Emissions reduction

Hand holding compass 11 April 2024
TPT publishes guidance on securing transition finance

Expert body’s final batch of advice provides companies in every sector with insights on how to attract investment to support their journey to net zero.

A road stretching over turquoise water 27 March 2024
Carbon border adjustment mechanisms: a tool for global decarbonisation

Make sense of carbon leakage, global emissions, and the new trade policy that could reshape how the world tackles climate change.

Smoking chimney 19 Dec 2023
UK announces introduction of carbon border adjustment mechanism

A carbon pricing mechanism for imports will be implemented by 2027 to support decarbonisation.

Smokestacks 20 Sept 2023
How will the EU carbon border adjustment mechanism affect UK businesses?

The EU's carbon border adjustment mechanism enters its transitional phase on 1 October 2023, meaning that UK businesses exporting to the EU must prepare for the changes.

image of wooden blocks staked together for the Grunberg video article 24 Feb 2023
Grunberg goes net zero

Learn how Grunberg & Co Chartered Accountants have set a path for net zero by 2030

A still-frame from the video, showing a plane taking off. 18 Jan 2023
UK government’s Net Zero Review touts business incentives

Tax incentives, a Help to Grow Green campaign for SMEs and reforms of the planning system are among the 129 recommendations made by Net Zero Review Chair, Chris Skidmore MP.

cycle to work 15 September 2022
10 Carbon Reduction Tips For Your Business

Net Zero Now have compiled a list of the top things you can do in your business or practice to reduce your carbon impact.

Electric car being charged 4 January 2022
The tax-efficient benefits of electric company cars

Sam Inkersole explains how electric company cars offer a favourable benefit in kind for employers and employees alike.

Can tax policy help the UK achieve net zero article image 28 Feb 2022
Can tax policy help the UK achieve net zero?

Anita Monteith considers how policy levers can affect the most polluting sectors of transport, construction, power generation and industrial emissions, and wonders how governments can make up for the lost revenue from fuel duty.

A person operating a tablet showing charts 07 Dec 2021
Pledge net zero 2022: carbon offsets from a programme you can visit

Where to start? That is the question lots of companies will ask their trusted adviser as they seek to meet their net zero pledges. Carbon offsetting is part of the mix, especially in the early stages of a net-zero pathway, but wouldn’t it help if companies could visit the projects they invest in?

A landscape on fire 11 Nov 2021
Drax: how finance can power ‘carbon negative’ energy generation

Drax’s senior finance manager Chris Simpson explains how finance is helping achieve the former coal power station’s goal of becoming the world’s first ‘carbon negative’ energy generator - the success of which is critical to the UK achieving its own net-zero goals.

Earth and Sun 21 October 2021
ICAEW’s journey to carbon neutrality - start yours now

In quarter three of 2020, ICAEW became the first professional body to achieve carbon neutral status. Our journey started in 2015; we measured, set targets and took small achievable steps to ensure we reduced our impact on climate change.


A person grocery shopping in a plastic-free shop 01 Dec 2021
Accountants should translate energy costs into carbon data

Angus Douglas, group finance director at Star Refrigeration, says accountants are well-positioned to translate pound notes into grams of carbon.

Flames and smoke from a forest fire 22 Nov 2021
Climate change must be part of your business plan

Climate change risk must be embedded into business risk planning, backed by cohesive policy changes from government, says GARP Risk Institute president.

Wind turbines in fields 16 Nov 2021
Hospitality targets ‘triple bottom line’ approach for recovery

Organisations in the hospitality sector are being urged to bolster their green credentials to meet the growing sustainability demands of both customers and potential staff as the sector looks to capitalise on the long-awaited rebound.

A piece of an iceberg collapsing into the sea 05 Nov 2021
Redesigning the system: the biggest job in finance

Restructuring the international financial system will help make money work toward preventing climate change, rather than accelerating it, a cohort of 40 businesses says.

public sector thumbnail 01 Oct 2021
Addressing the climate emergency in the UK public sector

The UK has a lot of work to do and a dwindling amount of time in which to do it.

Climate finance

people climbing a snowy mountain 10 May 2024
Capacity Building for Sustainable Finance gains momentum

The Sustainable Finance Education Charter (SFEC) has released its third Annual Progress Report, showcasing the progress made by professional bodies throughout 2023 in advancing education and training in sustainable finance.

Dry, cracked muddy flatlands with a mountain in the distance 18 Jul 2023
New index helps brands avoid greenwashing and greenhushing

Heralded in a January project launch at the World Economic Forum in Davos, the inaugural Sustainability Gap Index examines the financial differences – and sometimes gulfs – between sustainability perceptions and performance across 4,000 brands.

Asia city skyline 26 Jun 2023
EU regulators step up scrutiny on greenwashing

Stamping out the rise of greenwashing should ensure investor protection and market integrity, and maintain a trusted environment for sustainable investments.

A person taking a bike from public bicycle hire scheme docking station 06 SEP 2022
IMF-backed directory aims to close climate data gaps

New online tool seeks to help market participants make better informed investment decisions to support the global push towards a low-carbon economy.

Three wind turbines in a dusky landscape
ESG in Corporate Finance

ESG considerations can have a positive impact on a business’s decisions in relation to transactions. They can also be a driver of transactions as a business’s ESG credentials influence investment and capital allocation decisions.

Garden allotments seen from above 15 Nov 2021
Green finance: ASEAN & UK perspectives

Insight gathered from interviews with experts across a range of disciplines in ASEAN and the UK, on the role that finance can play in addressing the risks associated with climate change.

A vast field filled with rows upon rows of solar panels 03 Nov 2021
Policy performance bonds are a climate action “game changer”

A financial instruments expert has urged the UK government to issue bonds linked to its climate targets as a means to show commitment to its sustainability objectives, as their use across the corporate sector continues to ramp up.

A city lit by a red sunset 28 OCT 2021
Greenwashing: rising regulatory temperature for financial services

In advance of COP26, Financial Services Faculty Board member Nikesh Pandit, Barrister at 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, and Alessia de Quincey, Solicitor Advocate at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, explore the financial services regulators’ increasing focus on greenwashing, and how they might use their existing powers to prevent it.

The moon seen through smoke coming from a smokestack 19 Oct 2021
Green finance roadmap sets out government’s sustainability expectations

HM Treasury has published its roadmap for the transition to a greener financial system. Importantly for the accountancy profession, it sets out plans for implementing sustainability disclosures.

Climate reporting

People standing and talking in little clusters, seen from above 26 Jan 2023
Nature-related reporting: global TNFD early adopters announced

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, 320 organisations from more than 46 countries were unveiled as ‘early adopters’ of the TNFD’s recommendations for nature-related disclosures.

European parliament building, Strasbourg 26 Jun 2023
ISSB issues first sustainability disclosure standards

Corporate reporting has taken a major step forward today as the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) published two IFRS Sustainability Disclosure Standards which aim to boost transparency in ESG information published by companies.

A butterfly in a wheat field 20 Oct 2022
Climate-related reporting: sharing reflections on the 2021/22 reporting season

Premium listed entities are reporting on climate-related matters in their narrative reports, but often for the first time in the 2021/2022 reporting season. For other listed and smaller entities, the level of existing climate-related disclosure varies. But whether it be under new legislation or market-driven demands, almost all reporting entities are likely to be required to report on climate-related matters before long.

A polar bear on ice 12 Sep 2022
FRC launches best-practice guide for managing ESG data

Guidance provides corporates with adaptable model for thinking about how to optimise the ways they collect and utilise data on ESG themes.

A dusky horizon with silhouettes of smoking industrial buildings and electricity pylons 05 Aug 2022
Improvement needed for reporting under new climate rules

Separate reports from the FRC and FCA indicate that premium listed companies have made significant progress in the quality of climate-related reporting, but more needs to be done.

Inside the Wave in Arizona 14 Dec 2021
Paris-aligned accounts

The Paris Agreement aims to achieve net zero emissions globally by 2050. Reaching these goals will require action from all. ICAEW explores how accountants in business and practice can align corporate reporting to the Paris Agreement objectives.

Woman in hijab sitting at table with multiethnic politicians answering questions during a press conference 08 Dec 2021
ESG assurance

The expectations of financial services organisations and other corporates are changing fast. Profit cannot be the only measure of success – environmental, social and governance principles need to be observed and taken into consideration to satisfy a broad range of stakeholders.

Two zebra 23 Nov 2021
Financials remain woefully short on climate information

Barbara Davidson, Senior Analyst – Regulatory and Accounting at the Carbon Tracker Initiative says that without an understanding of the impact of energy transition on company financials, the extent of capital at risk – and whether funds are being allocated to unsustainable businesses – remains largely unknown.

A striped rosemary beetle 15 Nov 2021
Climate change is paramount for annual reporting

Climate change and energy transition is the biggest challenge the world is facing. It is paramount for Shell and front of mind when developing its annual report and financial statements, says Edwin Kunkels, Vice President Group Reporting and Deputy Controller at the company.

Four people at a table talking to each other with papers and a laptop 01 Dec 2021
Sustainability reporting: why should SMEs care?

Call it the pandemic effect, but the penny is finally dropping that environmental and social reporting is becoming the responsibility of all practitioners and companies – not just large complex organisations and their advisers. Johan Barros, EU Policy Manager at Accountancy Europe, explains.

A person holding a crate in a commercial greenhouse 16 Dec 2021
How to reflect climate risks in the financial statements

As the 2021 reporting season approaches, businesses increasingly face questions from investors about how their accounts reflect climate-related matters. Here’s how businesses, audit committees and auditors can address them.