The case for climate governance assurance

One of the biggest risks facing organisations is climate change and adapting to the emerging low-carbon economy. The challenge is that its impacts are mainly beyond the risk horizons that most organisations work within.

Presented with the challenge, climate risk feels too big, too distant to manage. But it is not someone else’s problem. It is for every individual, organisation, institute, government and internal auditor to manage. 

It will impact your organisation, perhaps it is already. If not today, then possibly within your lifetime but certainly that of millennials and their children.

What will your personal legacy be to those who come after you?

Is your organisation being proactive or waiting for legislation to force its hand?

Risk in Focus 2019 highlighted that climate change was one of the least audited areas.

What assurance can internal audit provide over identification and management of this risk?

What more could you be doing?

In May 2019, parliament followed the lead of over 90 councils and cities in the UK in declaring a climate emergency. It represents a desire to be carbon-neutral by 2030: an ambitious goal exceeding the government’s current carbon targets.

Your role as an audit leader is to determine the assurance needs for your organisation. Understanding the environment in which it operates is an important part of this.

In this piece, we take a look at some of the latest climate information and offer suggestions on how to make climate assurance part of the audit plan.


View from the experts

Climate change sceptics argue that global warming is part of a natural cycle. This is true. For the last 3 million years, Earth has fluctuated between periods of glacial (cooler) and interglacial (warmer) temperatures. These cycles last for thousands of years. We are currently in an interglacial period that began…