Canadian businesses are putting their bottom line and the country’s economic health at risk by neglecting to prepare for anticipated impacts of a changing climate, says a new report released Friday by a federal government-funded advisory panel.
The study, produced by the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, says that securities regulators also have a role to play in requiring better information from businesses for the public and investors.
“Despite guidance to the effect already issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, climate change risk disclosure in financial filings is limited, at best,” said the report, entitled Facing the Elements: Business resilience in a changing climate. “Better enforcement of disclosure requirements is necessary, as are effective approaches for companies to demonstrate the value of climate change risk management and adaptation actions to investors.”
Members of the panel — who were surprised to learn in the March federal budget that the government was shutting down their office — warned that while some large corporations are proactive in managing their risks, others that they met with for the study could face serious losses that could even lead to bankruptcy.
“The failure of businesses to adapt to future climate realities has implications for their bottom line, for their investors, customers, workforce, and ultimately, for our economy and society,” said the report.