ASIC has launched a new climate change risk surveillance program for Australia’s biggest companies.

The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) is contacting large companies as part of an investigation into climate risk governance.

“We confirm we are undertaking this work but we do not, at this stage, intend to comment further on the nature of the surveillance work,” a spokesperson told reporters.

The probe is expected to look at how companies manage climate risks internally, and how transparent they are about climate issues with investors.

A 2018 ASIC report said company directors “should adopt a probative and proactive approach to emerging risks, including climate risk”.

Just 14 per cent of the annual reports ASIC reviewed in 2017 made reference to climate change.

ASIC updated its guidance for companies dealing with climate change risks this year.