IAASB Issues Consultation Paper to Enhance Reporting on Greenhouse Gases

IAASB Issues Consultation Paper to Enhance Reporting on Greenhouse Gases

As the world turns its attention to the Copenhagen talks later this year for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol on reining in carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases (GHG), the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) is making significant progress to develop a new assurance standard on GHG statements. Today, the IAASB released a Consultation Paper seeking views on key issues in developing that standard.

"Having reliable information is key to global efforts to reduce emissions and stabilize the level of carbon in the atmosphere," emphasizes Arnold Schilder, IAASB Chairman. "We are actively seeking to enhance the credibility of GHG information because of the importance to the public interest of decisions being made on the basis of that information. Our consultation will help inform the development of a robust standard in support of this goal."

"A growing number of countries are developing, or have developed, carbon emissions trading schemes under which public reporting of information about emissions inventories, and assurance thereon, has economic, political, and social significance," explains James Gunn, IAASB Technical Director, adding, "The IAASB's project seeks to enhance the consistency and quality of performance by practitioners on assurance engagements to report on this information, whether produced for regulators, legislators, investors, or other interested parties."

Entitled Assurance on a Greenhouse Gas Statement, the Consultation Paper asks a series of questions addressing such matters as: the form of assurance report that users would find most useful; the nature and extent of requirements; how a standard should best integrate with regulatory requirements; and technical aspects of applying the assurance process to GHG emissions. The IAASB intends to use the feedback from the consultation to develop an exposure draft of a proposed new assurance standard on GHG statements for release in 2010.

All stakeholders are encouraged to respond to the Consultation Paper, either in its entirety or to select questions that are of special interest to them.

How to Comment
Comments on the Consultation Paper are requested by February 19, 2010. The Consultation Paper may be viewed by going to www.ifac.org/Guidance/EXD-Outstanding.php. Respondents are asked to send their comments electronically through the IFAC website, using the "Submit a Comment" link on the Exposure Drafts and Consultation Papers page. Please note that first-time users must register to use this new feature. Although IFAC prefers that comments be submitted using the online submission system, e-mail may continue to be sent to edcomments@ifac.org. They can also be faxed to the attention of the IAASB Technical Director at +1 (212) 856-9420 or mailed to IFAC, 545 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA. All comments will be considered a matter of public record and will ultimately be posted on IFAC's website.

About the IAASB and IFAC
The IAASB (www.ifac.org/IAASB) develops auditing and assurance standards and guidance for use by all professional accountants under a shared standard-setting process involving the Public Interest Oversight Board, which oversees the activities of the IAASB and the IAASB Consultative Advisory Group, which provides public interest input into the development of the standards and guidance.

IFAC (www.ifac.org) is the global organization for the accountancy profession dedicated to serving the public interest by strengthening the profession and contributing to the development of strong international economies. IFAC is comprised of 157 members and associates in 123 countries and jurisdictions, representing more than 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.