Implementing green budgeting in the public sector is essential to tackling climate change

Becoming a value-adding CFO takes integrative thinking, says new ACCA guide

8th December 2022

Toolkit sets out key methods that financial professionals can use to turn green ambitions into costed plans

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) backs green budgeting for the public sector everywhere to implement climate commitments and achieve their environmental goals.

In Green budgeting: a toolkit for public sector finance professionals published today, ACCA sets out the reasons for considering green budgeting and the methods that can be adopted. It highlights the crucial role that finance professionals must play in making action on climate change a reality.

John Lelliott, OBE, FCCA, chair of ACCA’s Global Forum for Sustainability and former finance director at the UK Crown Estate, wrote a foreword to the toolkit. He says: ‘Action to address the climate crisis requires change across the entire public sector. Climate considerations must be central to public sector organisations’ decision-making processes. The budget cycle is at the heart of the way organisations implement their objectives.’

Green budgeting supports progress towards national and international climate commitments and goals; promotes environmentally responsive policy making; fosters transparency and helps investors as they look to fund sustainable activities through financial instruments such as green bonds.

The toolkit identifies three important conditions to support successful implementation: political will; building on existing processes; and adopting green budgeting across the whole public sector – half of all public spending on climate and the environment is at sub-national level.

The report also sets out five key steps to adopting green budgeting: develop a baseline; prioritise spending with the most impact; categorise and monitor spending; ensure external review and then learn and improve.

The toolkit highlights how finance professionals are at the heart of green budgeting and can enable public sector organisations to turn goals and ambitions into costed plans.

Assad Hameed Khan, head of ACCA Pakistan, says: ‘Climate change, as experienced through the recent floods, is already having a profound impact on Pakistan. Government is at the forefront of the response to climate change including the need to integrate and mainstream climate action in every public sector organisation. Accountancy and finance professionals in the public sector will be essential to this task. It’s a great opportunity for public sector accountants to step forward and make a real difference’.

Read the toolkit here.

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