Directors want more done on climate change

·1-min read

Confidence around the nation's company board tables is at its highest in three years, although directors are still worried about the threat to the economy from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors' latest sentiment survey of 1500 directors found about two in five listing the pandemic as a key challenge, followed by global economic uncertainty and climate change.

"Although the challenges of COVID-19 continue to impact our way of life, Australia's ability to control outbreaks, compared to other countries, is helping to bolster positive sentiment," the institute's CEO Angus Armour said.

But directors once again nominated climate change as the number one priority the federal government should be addressing.

Directors believe the response to climate change from business and community organisations has been stronger than that of state and federal governments.

More than three-quarters of respondents were in support of establishing five-year emissions reduction targets to provide a clear pathway to the longer-term net zero goal.

As well, more than half of respondents consider climate change a material risk to their own organisation.

"Directors clearly perceive that climate change risk is not a niche issue only relevant to some sectors, with the challenge now a mainstream item on boardroom agendas," Mr Armour said.

"It is telling that despite Australia's continued COVID-19 related challenges including the vaccine roll-out, border closures and lockdowns, as well as much worse conditions globally, directors continue to identify climate change as the top issue for the Australian government to address."