Accountants Assemble to Battle Climate Crisis

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    Stockholm (NordSIP) – The Partnership for Carbon Accounting Financials (PCAF), which brings together 430 financial institutions working on industry-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting standards, will launch a new e-learning platform with the aim of training 2,500 financial professionals.  The initiative was announced during this week’s Climate Week NYC.

    The new PCAF Academy will aim to improve the overall quality of GHG accounting through the widespread adoption of PCAF standards and improving the autonomy of participants through greater levels of expertise.  The accounting standards and methodologies underpinning the education programme will be steered by a newly formed Global Core Team.  This has been put together with the aim of achieving representation of the full range of geographical regions and organisational types in the PCAF membership.  The Global Core Team will examine the global financial industry’s requirements in terms of climate risk management, disclosure needs and target setting to determine priorities for further accounting methodology development over the coming 12 months.

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    The Global Core Team is chaired by Hetal Patel, Head of Climate Investment Risk at Phoenix Group and includes representatives from Nigeria’s United Bank for Africa Plc, the USA’s EIG, PIMCO and Morgan Stanley, Australia’s Metrics Credit Partners and Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the Netherlands’ ING, the UK’s Phoenix Group, Switzerland’s Swiss Re, South Africa’s Investec, Brazil’s Itau Unibanco, Nepal’s NMB Bank, Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group, and Finland’s Nordea.

    Nordic representation

    The latter Nordic bank will be represented by Stefan Henningsson, who joined Nordea as a Senior Climate Specialist in 2019 after a 12-year spell at environmental NGO WWF.  Henningsson hopes to contribute to the Core Team’s work based on Nordea’s experience of developing in-house methodologies for tracking and forecasting the bank’s financed emissions.  “We now track in detail all our business areas and the emissions associated with our financial activities and can therefore, together with our investee companies and corporate customers, improve data quality over time, set even better targets to measure progress and accelerate the transition.  In some areas, methodologies for robust carbon accounting still need to be developed, and I’m positive that the core team now established will be able to continue refining and expanding the standards across the sector.”

    Henningson is keen for the work to begin, as he believes aligned standards and common methodologies are essential for progress in the low-carbon transition to be properly measured.  “With this summer’s exceptional weather events around the world, the need for a faster pace in the transition has become even more evident, and the team will now take steps to further support the financial sector’s decarbonisation,” adds Henningson.

    Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay (edited)
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