Glasgow COP26: Investors warn Big 4 auditors to include climate accounting

The letters dated November 1 and sent to Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC by the investor group pointed to recent research showing more than 70 per cent of assessed 2020 audits had fallen short
Major investors have warned the world’s top four audit firms they will vote to stop the firms working for the companies they invest in at AGMs from next year if audits do not integrate climate risk.

The challenge, laid out in letters from an investor group managing around $4.5 trillion that were seen by Reuters, marks an escalation in the group’s efforts to ensure investors were armed with robust information. Ahead of the COP26 climate talks in Scotland, the group had called for governments to force companies and auditors to file accounts in line with the world’s goal of limiting global warming by mid-century.

The letters dated November 1 and sent to Deloitte, EY, KPMG and PwC by the investor group pointed to recent research showing more than 70 per cent of assessed 2020 audits had fallen short.

The group includes asset managers Sarasin & Partners, Pictet and Aviva Investors and pension schemes including RPMI Railpen. The investors said that after three years of discussions with the firms, they “cannot afford to wait another three years” for audits to improve.

At the next season for corporate annual general meetings, the auditors could “increasingly expect to see” investors vote against their reappointment if they failed to meet expectations, the letters said.

Denmark, UK plan to invest $130 bn by ’30

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said on Tuesday Nordic and British pension funds would invest $130 billion by 2030 to fight climate change. Denmark said $75 billion of the funds were new commitments. The Rockefeller and Ikea foundations announced plans for an alliance that will start with $10 billion. The Bezos Earth Fund will give it $500 million.

It is time for action, Queen tells leaders
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth told the United Nations climate change summit that “the time for words has now moved to the time for action”, as she urged world leaders to think of future generations when negotiating a deal. She asked them to  rise above “the politics of the moment” saying the legacy of a successful summit would help “our children’s children”.

Xi did not get video address option: China 

China said on Tuesday that President Xi Jinping was not given an opportunity to deliver a video address to the COP26 climate talks and had to send a written response instead. Xi, who is not attending the UN meeting in person, gave a written statement to the opening “high-level segment for heads of state and government” on Monday in which he offered no additional pledges.

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