The Financial Stability Board’s industry-led “Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures” has issued its final report with standards and guidance for voluntary climate-related financial risk disclosures in SEC filings. The most significant aspects are the imprimatur of the G20 and the credibility and support it lends to investor initiatives calling for portfolio companies to adopt its recommendations. The report notes:
As you know, warming of the planet caused by greenhouse gas emissions poses serious risks to the global economy and will have an impact across many economic sectors. It is difficult for investors to know which companies are most at risk from climate change, which are best prepared, and which are taking action.
The Task Force’s report establishes recommendations for disclosing clear, comparable and consistent information about the risks and opportunities presented by climate change. Their widespread adoption will ensure that the effects of climate change become routinely considered in business and investment decisions. Adoption of these recommendations will also help companies better demonstrate responsibility and foresight in their consideration of climate issues. That will lead to smarter, more efficient allocation of capital, and help smooth the transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.
The industry Task Force spent 18 months consulting with a wide range of business and financial leaders to hone its recommendations and consider how to help companies better communicate key climate-related information. The feedback we received in response to the Task Force’s draft report confirmed broad support from industry and others, and involved productive dialogue among companies and banks, insurers, and investors. This was and remains a collaborative process, and as these recommendations are implemented, we hope that this dialogue and feedback continues.
Since the Task Force began its work, we have also seen a significant increase in demand from investors for improved climate-related financial disclosures. This comes amid unprecedented support among companies for action to tackle climate change.