Corporate Disclosure on Climate Change: Evaluating the Australian Domestic Legal Framework’s Ability to Oversee and Enforce Disclosures Made by Corporate Entities Participating in Voluntary International Disclosure Regimes

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Abstract

This article analyses the ability of international disclosure regimes, voluntarily ascribed to by companies, to encourage Australian corporate entities to implement climate change reduction measures, and the regulatory synergies that arise (if any) from the interaction between the international disclosure regimes and the Australian domestic corporate legislation to increase such implementation and improve corporate climate change performance. Due to the number and variety of international disclosure regimes, this article focuses on the obligations imposed by a particular regime, namely
the Global Reporting Initiative, and its oversight and enforcement. Similarly, due to the multitude of legislative instruments both at the State and federal level, this article focuses on the interaction between the international regime and the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) as the principal Act regulating corporate conduct. This article uses the Commonwealth Bank of Australia as the case
study to illustrate this interaction between these two distinct regulatory regimes and identifies the reasons behind their inability to synergistically regulate the corporate sector. Finally, this article makes recommendations to improve the current corporate disclosure regulatory space to enable
stakeholder regulation, namely by shareholders and investors, with the aim to improve corporate climate change performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-241
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Volume36
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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