Tuesday 8 August 2017 02.07 BST
The embattled Commonwealth Bank is being sued by shareholders for what they say is a failure to properly disclose the risks to the business posed by climate change.
The case will be the first anywhere in the world to test in court how companies are required to disclose climate change-related risks in their annual reports, and follows calls by shareholders, regulators and central banks around the world for greater clarity.
The papers were filed on Tuesday, after which the federal court will decide how the case should proceed.
The claim, brought by lawyers at Environmental Justice Australia on behalf of Commonwealth Bank shareholders Guy and Kim Abrahams, says the bank’s 2016 directors’ report did not adequately inform investors of climate change risks.
It also seeks an injunction to stop the bank making the same omissions in future annual reports.
The move comes six months after the Australian financial regulator warned climate change poses a material risk to the entire financial system, and called for companies to report on climate change-related risks as financial risks.
The sorts of risks the Commonwealth Bank might face as a result of climate change are diverse, said David Barnden, a lawyer at Environmental Justice Australia.