A group of major global accounting industry organizations, representing millions of accountants around the world, announced a series of climate-focused initiatives, including commitments to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within their own organizations and to help enable members to set and follow their own net zero strategies.

The organizations are part of the Accounting Bodies Network (ABN), a collaboration between the sustainable business-focused Accounting for Sustainability (A4S) and professional bodies across the globe. The 13 signatories to the new climate initiative include accounting bodies from Canada, Japan, Australia, and Europe, among others, and the globally-focused Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

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Charles-Antoine St-Jean, President and CEO, Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada, said:

“We are pleased to be able to make this commitment along with other accounting bodies from around the world. It is essential that we demonstrate conviction and leadership within our own organizations if we are to earn the trust of businesses and other stakeholders and provide them valuable guidance as they strive to achieve net-zero commitments.”

Within their own organizations, the signatories commit to reaching net zero GHG emissions as soon as possible, informed by science and aligned with the global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5. C, as well as to publish a net zero emissions pathway within the next 12 months with annual reports to showcase carbon reduction progress.

The accountant bodies also commit to providing the training and infrastructure to support their members to achieve net zero ambitions and to provide advice to help governments create policy and regulatory infrastructure for a just transition to a net zero carbon economy.

Jessica Fries, Executive Chair of A4S, said:

“The accounting community plays a vital role in helping to tackle climate change, but many accountants are unsure where to start. By committing to net zero GHG emissions, the leading professional bodies signing the ABN Net Zero Statement of Support are signalling the importance of action and committing to help their millions of members to respond. By mobilizing this army of accountants, all segments of the economy – from large to small – can be equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to create a sustainable future for us all.”