CIIA warns majority of businesses are unprepared for climate change

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIIA) is calling on the financial services industry to address “the gap between expectation and action” in regards to climate change preparedness.

The institute partnered with the Climate Group to publish a new report, ‘Organisations preparedness for climate change: an internal audit perspective’, which addresses business attitudes towards climate risk management.

The survey of chief audit executives revealed “widespread corporate awareness” regarding the threat climate change poses.

Some 66% of respondents said climate change is on their company’s risk register, while 58% believe climate change will be a high risk in three years’ time.

However, 52% of businesses’ internal audit functions report doing very limited or no work related to climate change.

John Wood, chief executive of the CIIA, said: “Climate change is already visibly causing damage to infrastructure and assets, threatening businesses’ reputations, and introducing a whole new level of regulatory and compliance risks that will increasingly test our resilience.

“Though many parallels have been drawn with the coronavirus crisis, the impacts of the pandemic are nothing compared to what climate change will bring if we don’t act now.”

He added: “We would urge industry to get to grips with what is coming down the track by building up knowledge and understanding of climate risks and opportunities now – rather than wait around for government to act.

“Internal audit functions must play a key role in supporting the organisations they serve to become climate change ready.”

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