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IAASB Proposes Assurance Standard to Strengthen Reporting on Greenhouse Gases

Jan 11, 2011 | New York | English

The International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB) today released for comment proposed new International Standard on Assurance Engagements (ISAE) 3410, Assurance Engagements on Greenhouse Gas Statements.

“The monetary value of carbon trading transactions around the world is in the billions and continuing to increase exponentially. This has led to a strong and growing need for mechanisms to enhance the reliability of the underlying information used in these transactions—and this proposed standard is an important part of fulfilling that need,” said Prof. Arnold Schilder, IAASB chairman. “Disclosure of emissions information is also increasingly being required by regulation or presented on a voluntary basis to inform investors, consumers, and others,” Schilder added. “For example, it is becoming more common to include detailed emissions information in company sustainability reports. Providing assurance to enhance the reliability of information for regulatory and voluntary reporting is also important.”

Proposed ISAE 3410 has been developed through a robust program of consultation, including a series of global roundtables and feedback received on an earlier Consultation Paper. The proposed standard addresses the practitioner’s responsibilities in identifying, assessing, and responding to risks of material misstatement, and contains illustrative assurance reports on greenhouse gas statements. The proposed requirements and guidance also recognize that most engagements will be undertaken by a multidisciplinary team, so they address the need for the assurance practitioner to integrate experts—in engineering or environmental science, for example—into various stages of the engagement.

“The proposed standard can be applied to a broad range of circumstances, including emissions from electricity used at a single office; emissions from complex physical or chemical processes at several facilities; or emissions calculated using information from multiple entities in a supply chain,” explained IAASB Technical Director James Gunn. He noted, “Importantly, the proposed standard covers both ‘reasonable assurance’ and ‘limited assurance’ engagements for both of which demand is increasingly evident in the marketplace.”

How to Comment
The IAASB invites all stakeholders to comment on its proposals. To access the exposure draft or submit a comment, visit the IAASB’s website at Comments on the exposure draft are requested by June 10, 2011.

About the IAASB
The 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. The structures and processes that support the operations of the IAASB are facilitated by IFAC.

About IFAC
IFAC ( 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. It is comprised of 164 members and associates in 125 countries and jurisdictions, representing approximately 2.5 million accountants in public practice, education, government service, industry, and commerce.