environmental sustainability

Consortium provides prototype climate-related financial disclosure standards, following earlier pledge to collaborate.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

A group of leading sustainability and integrated reporting organisations has published a paper addressing standards for reporting on enterprise value and presenting prototypes of climate-related financial disclosure standards (the Paper). The co-authors include the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), the Climate Disclosure Standard Board (CDSB), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) (the Organisations). The Organisations released the paper on 18 December 2020, several months after pledging to collaborate to provide market guidance on sustainability standards.

The Chinese Communist Party’s policy plans include an increased focus on climate change and a more open trade environment.

By Paul Davies, Ethan Prall and Andrew Westgate

The Central Committee, the top-level authority of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), recently concluded its Fifth Plenary Session and created China’s 14th Five Year Plan (the Plan). The Five Year Plan is the primary policy document for the CCP, covering a variety of social, economic, and foreign policy topics, and effectively serving as the CCP’s political platform. The Fifth Plenary was attended by 198 members of the Central Committee, including President Xi Jinping in his role as General Secretary of the Central Committee (his most important title). The full text of the new Plan is not yet public, but a communique summarizing the discussions at the Plenary has been released (Chinese version only). The communique indicates that the CCP will continue its focus on developing environmental governance policies through 2025, and the party will also prioritize aggressive climate policies aimed at reaching the 2060 carbon neutrality target recently announced by President Xi.

The Sustainability Accounting Standards Board and the International Integrated Reporting Council merger aims to streamline ESG reporting to improve data for investors.

By Paul A. Davies and Michael D. Green

On 25 November 2020, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) announced that they are merging into a unified organisation, the Value Reporting Foundation. This move reflects an effort to provide investors and corporates “with a comprehensive corporate reporting framework across the full range of enterprise value drivers and standards” and recognises “the need for data-driven information”.

The guidelines, along with three new reports on green finance, demonstrate the European Commission’s intent in respect of meeting its Paris Agreement targets.

By Paul A. Davies, Michael D. Green and Clément Pradille

On June 18, 2019, the European Commission (Commission) published new guidelines on corporate climate-related information reporting, as well as three new reports by the Technical Expert Group on Sustainable Finance (TEG), as part of the Commission’s Sustainable Finance Action Plan (Action Plan). The new guidelines provide companies with information and recommendations to support their approach to reporting the impact of their activities on climate change, and also how climate change impacts the business of those companies.

Understanding the Guidelines

The Commission published its guidelines on reporting climate change-related information (2019 Guidelines) under the Non-Financial Reporting Directive 2014/95/EU (Directive). The 2019 Guidelines are part of the Action Plan, which was published in March 2018 and aims to reorient capital toward sustainable investment, manage financial risks arising from climate change, and foster transparency and a long-term view in financial and economic activities.

By Paul Davies and Andrew Westgate

On 18 October 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party will convene, after the week-long National Day holiday, marking one of the most important dates on the Chinese political calendar. Among the issues that National Congress members will surely discuss, is the importance of implementing strategies to further China’s green development. A crucial aspect of this discussion will be determining how funding can be channelled towards clean development.

China has achieved unprecedented economic growth over the last four decades, and is predicted to become the world’s largest economy before 2030, overtaking the United States. A by-product of this success however, has been severe damage to China’s ecology and environment, which the country is already taking action to address.