Ernst & Young (E&Y) has appointed Juan
Costa Climent as its global leader for climate change and
sustainability services.

In his new role, Costa Climent will lead a
global team of more than 700 staff in the climate change and
sustainability sector of the firm’s advisory, assurance, tax and
transaction advisory services from London.

Costa Climent was previously a member of
parliament in Spain and held the position of Spanish Minister for
Science, Technology and Industry until 2004. He has most recently
led E&Y Spain’s tax practice and has also been an advisor for
the International Monetary Fund.

He is also a leading commentator on
sustainable developments and recently published a book, An
Unstoppable Revolution
, on the benefits of sustainability and
environmental protection to the world economy.

Costa Climent told the International
Accounting Bulletin
climate change and sustainable development
are the biggest challenges facing the global economy and business
community right now.

“[E&Y] wants to help our clients deal with
those challenges and become market leaders in the field with strong
global team. My first commitment is to try to further develop the
global team and take advantage of all the knowledge and good human
resources we have.”

He said the demand for certain sustainability
services, such as auditing sustainability reports and advisory work
on green strategies, is increasing.

“We would like to make sure sustainability
reporting is not only about disclosing some information but that it
is a management tool. Also more companies are convinced that they
have to develop green strategies to reduce their carbon footprint,
archaeological footprint and water consumption.”

Climent warned there could be regulatory
change following the United Nations Climate Change Conference next
month in Mexico.

“We will be paying attention to what the
policy makers do in the coming months because there may be a new
regulatory framework to follow or a new international treaty to
substitute the Kyoto protocol that will have an impact on
regulation,” he added.

The reason sustainability is becoming a key
issue in the market is due to drivers such as the push for
transparency by investors and market pressure from consumers asking
for green products, according to Climent.