Standard Active Last Updated: Aug 27, 2021 Track Document
ASTM E2718-21

Standard Guide for Financial Disclosures Attributed to Climate Change

Standard Guide for Financial Disclosures Attributed to Climate Change E2718-21 ASTM|E2718-21|en-US Standard Guide for Financial Disclosures Attributed to Climate Change Standard new BOS Vol. 11.05 Committee E50
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Significance and Use

4.1 Uses—This guide is intended for use on a voluntary basis by a reporting entity that provides disclosure in its financial statements regarding financial impacts attributed to climate change. The degree and type of disclosure depends on the scope and objective of the financial statements. This guide is intended to apply to U.S. and international operations at the discretion of the reporting entity.8 The user should be aware that there may be contractual obligations, court decisions, or regulatory directives that may affect the flexibility in use of this guide. The user should also maintain an awareness of international regulations that may be relevant to disclosures, such as those of the International Accounting Standards Board and International Financial Reporting Standards.

4.2 Principle: 

4.2.1 The following principles are an integral part of this guide and are intended to be referred to in resolving any ambiguity or dispute regarding the interpretation of financial disclosures regarding financial impacts attributed to climate change. Uncertainty Not Eliminated—Although a reporting entity, as of the time when its financial statements are prepared, may have evaluated the existence and extent of financial impacts attributed to climate change, there remains uncertainty with regard to the final resolution of scientific, technological, regulatory, legislative, and judicial matters, which could affect its financial impacts attributed to climate change. Where, as defined by the reporting entity, such uncertainties cannot be eliminated, the reporting entity shall provide its justification. In addition, the reporting entity shall provide estimates of the risks involved regarding uncertainties. Typically, this is accomplished through the development of reasonable scenarios or ranges to recognize and address uncertainties. While one or more climate change uncertainties may be unforeseeable for any reporting period, once recognized, subsequent reports will include any previous material exclusions. Further, a discovery of significant impediment to the reporting entities stakeholders, as and when discovered by the reporting entity, may require an interim statement. Comparison with Subsequent Disclosures—Subsequent disclosures that convey different information regarding the extent or magnitude of the reporting entity's financial impacts attributed to climate change should not be construed as indicating the initial disclosures were inappropriate. Disclosures shall be evaluated on the reasonableness of judgments and inquiries made at the time and under the circumstances in which they were made. Subsequent disclosures should not be considered valid standards to judge the appropriateness of any prior disclosure based on hindsight, new information, use of developing analytical techniques, or other factors. However, information on trends between disclosure years may be of value to a user of financial statements. Not Exhaustive—Appropriate disclosure does not necessarily mean an exhaustive disclosure. There is a point at which the cost of obtaining information or the time required to gather it outweighs the usefulness of the information and, in fact, may be a material detriment to the orderly preparation of financial statements and the ability of readers to understand the information contained therein. However, all relevant and reasonably ascertainable information should be used to determine the content of appropriate financial impacts attributed to climate change.


1.1 Purpose—The purpose of this guide is to provide a series of options or instructions consistent with good commercial and customary practice for climate change-related disclosures accompanying audited and unaudited financial statements. This guide encourages consistent and comprehensive disclosure of financial impacts attributed to climate change.

1.2 Objective—The objective of this guide is to determine the conditions warranting disclosure and the content of appropriate disclosure.

1.3 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 11.05
Developed by Subcommittee: E50.05
Pages: 7
DOI: 10.1520/E2718-21
ICS Code: 03.060