Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Directors’ Liability and Climate Risk: Comparative Paper – Australia, Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom

October 2019 | Sarah Barker, Ellie Mulholland | Reports

This paper provides a high-level summary and comparison of the CCLI’s previously published country papers on directors’ duties and climate risk. The prevailing directors’ duties regimes under Australian, Canadian, South African and United Kingdom laws are all conceptually capable of being applied to governance failures in the identification, assessment, oversight and disclosure of climate-related financial risks. Building on the country papers, this comparative paper finds that Australia is the jurisdiction where the liability risk to directors and fiduciaries is most material. This is not to say that the risk of liability is far-fetched in Canada, South Africa and the United Kingdom, and the risk is likely to increase in the future. Directors and fiduciaries must now approach their governance of climate change in the same way as they would any other financial matter. The only safeguard against liability exposure will be a proactive, dynamic and considered approach to the impact of climate change on strategy, risk management oversight and reporting. To assist boards and their committees to integrate the risks and opportunities of climate change into corporate governance and disclosure practice, the 2019 Climate risk reporting journey – A corporate governance primer is set out in the Annexure. Originally released in November 2018, this actionable framework has been updated to reflect developments in the climate risk landscape.

Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative
The CCLI examines the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate change and broader environmental risks, opportunities and impacts, and the circumstances in which there may be liability for failing to do so. We also work to advance knowledge on effective sustainable governance practice.
Contact

The Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 11813153 and with registered office at Kemp House, 160 City Road, London, United Kingdom EC1V 2NX.

Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative

The CCLI examines the legal basis for directors and trustees to consider, manage, and report on climate change and broader environmental risks, opportunities and impacts, and the circumstances in which there may be liability for failing to do so. We also work to advance knowledge on effective sustainable governance practice.

Contact

The Commonwealth Climate and Law Initiative is a company limited by guarantee registered in England and Wales with company number 11813153 and with registered office at Kemp House, 160 City Road, London, United Kingdom EC1V 2NX.

CCLI © 2022. All Rights Reserved.