Corporate Climate Claims in Australia Now Subject to Hard Regulatory Review

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Back in May, WUWT published an academic claim that weak climate promises could be used as a trap, to leverage real corporate climate expenditure. This scenario is now unfolding in Australia.

Green claims to be put under microscope

Angela Macdonald-Smith
Senior resources writer
Jul 4, 2021 – 4.00pm

Companies can expect scrutiny of their climate claims and targets will only intensify, with oil and gas producers right in the firing line.

While sensitivity around greenwashing claims has been mounting for many months, it is now moving to another level as ESG issues shoot up the agenda for investors, lenders and other stakeholders, and green credentials start to have a monetary value.

“We are moving into an environment where environmental performance has now got a financial value, and [that] means you bring a whole new level of scrutiny to performance claims that are being made to the market,” says Emma Herd, EY’s new partner, climate change and sustainability.

Regulators have already been particularly active, whether in the case of financial reporting, financial products labelling or documentation for capital raisings or loans.

Most recently, Tamboran Resources was put through the wringer by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission over its commitment in the prospectus for its $61 million IPO to be a net zero emissions gas producer from the outset.

ASIC required the Northern Territory gas explorer to remove references in the prospectus to clean and potential production and add detail on its net zero pledge, which Tamboran CEO Joel Riddle says was a key element behind the success of the float with today’s market super-focused on ESG.

Read more: https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/green-claims-to-be-put-under-microscope-20210702-p5868g

The full AFR article is well worth reading, if you have any exposure to large Aussie mining firms.

Why is this happening? In my opinion what is happening is a consequence of decades of suicidal corporate complacency in the face of increasingly absurd climate demands. For years corporate executives have allowed themselves to be lulled into believing they could get away with empty climate promises, a little PR greenwashing to spice up their annual report. Now they are realising, too late, that the noose is tightening – those empty promises they were lured into making are actually legally enforceable commitments.

If large corporations had challenged climate insanity from the start, instead of pretending to comply, they wouldn’t be in this horrible situation of having to try to live up to their impossibly expensive climate promises.

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July 5, 2021 at 08:04AM

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