Malaysians right now are sweltering through a heatwave and seeking sanctuary in air-conditioned buildings and cars. Elsewhere, men and women over the globe are suffering from heatwaves, wildfires, rising sea levels from melting sea ice and glaciers, cyclones, floods and drought. Truly, the climate change crisis is very real and none of us are sheltered from the impacts of global warming.

To help address the problem, various agencies and stakeholders are calling for swift collective action on climate change. The UNDP has prioritised climate strategy through UN Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate Action. The UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that emissions must be halved by 2030 and a net-zero global emissions economy achieved by 2050 in order to meet the 1.5C goal set by the Paris Agreement 2015 and avoid the direst consequences of global warming.

As the accountancy profession is highly influential globally in business and society, the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) is advocating for collaborative and collective action against climate change. In line with IFAC’s stance, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) is calling for accountants in Malaysia to join the fight. As accountants are embedded in companies as leaders and business partners, they can make a significant difference by taking the lead in climate change governance, decarbonisation for business and environmental sustainability. Most importantly, accountants possess the skillsets to lead in the capture, measurement, reporting and assurance of climate and carbon emissions information needed for organisations and businesses to formulate and implement effective strategies for climate action.

To increase awareness of business and the profession on the impacts of climate change and the necessary actions, MIA is organising its inaugural Climate Change Conference 2020. Delegates can expect to learn a great deal about:

  • the overall landscape and impacts of climate change risks;
  • establishing and ensuring effective climate leadership and climate governance within corporate boards and C-suites
  • climate change and impacts on business
  • reporting on climate change through the adoption of climate change reporting standards that are integrated with the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) frameworks.
  • specifically, how accountants can help to counter climate change.

The Conference has lined up stellar speakers who are experts and advocates for climate action, including:

  • Angelia Chin-Sharpe, Chief Executive Officer and Country Head, BNP Paribas Asset Management, Malaysia
  • Arina Kok, Director, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, Ernst & Young Malaysia
  • Davide Stronati, Global Sustainability and Climate Change Leader, Mott MacDonald, United Kingdom
  • Isabelle De Lovinfosse, Head of South East Asia COP26 Strategy and Sustainable Finance, British High Commission Singapore
  • Karen Westley, Vice President Environment, Shell Global
  • Lakshmi Lavanya Rama Iyer, Head of Policy and Climate Change, WWF Malaysia
  • Mohamed Rozani Osman, Senior Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank
  • Nasha Lee, Environment Analyst, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia
  • Datin Seri Sunita Mei-Lin Rajakumar, Founder, Climate Governance Initiative Malaysian Chapter
  • Tan Chee Wee, Head of Sustainability Reporting, DBS Bank, Singapore

If the profession and businesses can join hands with policy-makers and civil society against climate change, there is still hope for the wellbeing of the planet and future generations. As UN Secretary-General António Guterres said in September 2019 at the Climate Action Summit, “the climate emergency is a race we are losing, but it is a race we can win.”

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