QUEEN'S PARK – NDP MPPs Jessica Bell (University–Rosedale) and Ian Arthur (Kingston and the Islands) will introduce a bill requiring publicly traded companies in Ontario to publicly report the financial implications of climate change on their business each year.
“Climate change is an immediate and grave threat to the health of humanity, our economy, and Ontario businesses," said Bell. "Requiring businesses to disclose the impact of climate change risk on their business will help governments, investors, businesses and the wider economy understand and respond to the climate crisis.”
The bill would ensure that businesses publicly disclose how they may be impacted by various climate change risk scenarios, and outline measures to curb the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events, carbon pricing, exposure to legal liability, new or changing technology and global political instability.
"The Ford government is waging a war on the environment,” Arthur said. "Ford scrapped Ontario's cap-and-trade program, bulldozed green energy projects, slashed the power of Conservation Authorities and wasted millions on a failed legal battle to stop carbon pricing. The Conservatives' refusal to take the climate crisis seriously threatens not just our health but our economic stability.”
In 2017, the Ontario Securities Commission issued a report concluding that climate disclosure won't improve unless issuers are compelled to report, but no changes have been made in the province since.
"We can't expect investors to move the needle on the climate crisis unless the playing field is even and all have to disclose the same information," said Arthur. "This is long overdue, and would make a significant contribution towards meaningfully tackling the climate crisis.”
Other jurisdictions moving towards mandatory climate-related risk disclosure include France, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.