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November 4, 2010

E&Y appoints global climate change and sustainability leader

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.

 

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