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Climate change and Directors' Duties

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Legal opinion on Australian directors' duties in relation to climate change

An opnion was sort by the Centre for Policy Development and The Future Business Council from Minter Ellison to address the "extent to which the law permits or requires Australian company directors to respond to 'Climate change risks'.

The opinion is 22 pages long, the opinion is summarised as (inter alia, fromn section 3):

  • Climate change risks are capable of harm to company interests and are foreseeable
  • Climate change risk may be relevant to a director's duty of care and diligence where and to the extent the risks intersects with the interests of the company
  • Director's can and in some cases should be considering risk impacts
  • It is conceivable that failure to consider risks could be a breach of duty of care and diligence

Report is here

Relevance to New Zealand

To the extent that NZ Director's have similar legal obligations.


Other Links

APRA - Climate change and prudential risk

Task Force on climate related financial disclosures


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