Shareholder Proceedings Highlight Climate Change Risks for NZ Directors
On 8 August 2017, shareholder proceedings were filed in Australia against the Commonwealth Bank alleging that the company failed to disclose its exposure to climate change risk in its 2016 Annual Report.1
This is tangible evidence that Climate Change [CC] is a real and present risk for all companies and, in particular, listed companies. Directors need to pay special attention to the wider implications of the topic.
It highlights that Environmental, Social Governance [ESG] compliance is increasing and must now be addressed at board level. This is not only an Australian issue, the NZX is requiring specific disclosure from the 1st October 2017.
Directors and Officers need to understand how they are protected, or not, under a Directors & Officers (D&O) liability policy for climate change exposures.