President Ramaphosa recently appointed a Climate Council. The Presidential Climate Commission is an independent, statutory, multi-stakeholder body. The establishment of the Council is in response to international developments and commitments to reduce emissions to net zero. These commitments, if followed through, will have dramatic effects on the economic and social systems in South Africa. For this reason the Council determined that their purpose should be to oversee and facilitate a just and equitable transition towards a low- emissions and climate-resilient economy.
The decisions we make now will affect our FDI flow and available capital for business growth. Listed companies stand to lose more than $10 trillion in funding if they don’t adopt new climate reporting standards. The world’s largest United States-based asset management company, BlackRock, which has $10 trillion under management, recently announced that, by 2050, it will only invest in companies that are able to report net zero emissions in their financial statements and integrated
This follows the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) established to address climate change issues, and the agreement by global powers to put legislation into place to compel companies to report on their climate change efforts in pursuit of a net-zero emissions target by 2050. COP26 also created a category for Chief Financial Officers (CFO), the CFO Task Force, in the realization that climate change efforts cannot be separated from business and with the understanding that there is an urgent need to involve key decision makers in reporting on progress as it relates to the climate change agenda.
To represent the views of CFOs in Europe, Africa and Americas, SAIBA co-created the CFO Alliance. The CFO Alliance represents the interests of CFOs with the World Bank, UNCTAD, International Sustainability Standards Board and other stakeholders. The purpose is to ensure CFOs understand their role in preparing their companies for the new regime, and reporting progress made in reducing emissions.
Following these and other developments, SAIBA met with its sister association, the Association Nationale des Directeurs Financiers et de Contrôle de Gestion (DFCG), and other affiliate CFO institutes from Germany, Greece, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Western Africa at the annual Financium conference, held in Paris on 7 December 2021. At this event the CFO Alliance was launched.
To further the understanding of accountants in general, and CFO’s in particular of the effect of the transition to a new economy, SAIBA organised and hosted the CFO Summit. We are grateful to all the expert presenters for sharing their time and wisdom with us and our community. The summit is a small seed that will grow into a big tree, providing food and shelter for many.
A new branch has already formed with the launch of the SAIBA Regensys Climate Reporting Executive Education Course for CFOs. This forms the basis of the CFO Climate Reporting license issued by SAIBA. The license demonstrates the CFO’s commitment to and expertise in Climate Reporting, ensuring a continuous flow of investments.
The Accountant’s Climate and Sustainability Summit will take place online on the 12th of May. Book your spot here.