A global task force chaired by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is recommending the world's businesses and industries adopt a universal approach for reporting the financial impact of climate change.
The prominent American businessman was assigned the task last December, about the time political leaders from nearly 200 countries including Canada were meeting near Paris to negotiate a United Nations climate accord.
Bloomberg says climate change is not only an environmental problem, but a business one as well.
His 32-member task force — which included the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, insurance companies, banks, and industrial and mining companies — came up with a framework that is designed to inform investors and asset managers.
Its 66-page report, released today, says its recommendations are practical and should be adopted voluntarily by all organizations across jurisdictions and economic sectors.
It recommends, for instance, that organizations routinely disclose a potential range of impacts of climate on its business, how the risks are identified, the way the risks are measured, and how top managers and boards govern the process.
The release of the task force report will begin a 60-day period for public consultations and feedback, until Feb. 12.
The implementation of the Paris climate agreement — which calls for signatory countries to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide in order to limit the rise in the global temperature — has been called into doubt by the U.S. election victory of Donald Trump.
During Trump's campaign, the Republican president-designate said earlier this year that he would "cancel" the climate deal.
More recently, he said in a Fox News television interview that he's "very open-minded" on whether climate change is under way but has serious concerns about how the Obama administration's effort to cut carbon dioxide emissions would undercut U.S. global competitiveness.
In the task force report, Bloomberg — also a Republican who built a business empire before entering politics — says climate change is a problem for business that should be addressed.
"Warming of the planet caused by greenhouse gas emissions poses serious risks to the global economy and will have an impact across many economic sectors," Bloomberg says.
"Widespread adoption of the recommendations will help ensure that climate-related financial issues are routinely considered in business and investment decisions and encourage an effective dialogue between companies and banks, insurers and investors"
Bloomberg was named chair of the task force last December by Mark Carney, a former Bank of Canada governor and current Bank of England governor, in his role as chair of the Financial Stability Board.