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Government bonds on trial for climate disclosure

A suit filed by an Australian law student in late July is being billed as Australia’s answer to the landmark Urgenda decision in the Netherlands. The plaintiff is arguing that the Australian Government is required to disclose climate change risks associated with government bonds before selling those bonds to investors.

Although in substance different to Urgenda, the case should be on the radar of any institution dealing in long-term financial investments, and could have significant ramifications for directors’ duties more generally. The case relates to recent developments that suggest that directors, superannuation funds (and fund managers) and companies also have legal obligations to consider and disclose their exposure to climate-change related risk. 

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