COP presidency takes a historic step as governments, banks, financial institutions, and organizations move away from the coal, which is the single biggest contributor to climate change. It is the first time for COP presidency to prioritize this issue and put a bold end date on international fossil fuel finance. A new gold standard on the Paris Alignment of international public and climate finance is being set with a clear signal for private investors to follow.
This progress on climate finance being shown at COP26 demonstrates that the conditions are now ripe for the transformative change in the ESG disclosures. To properly assess sustainability and climate change related opportunities and risks, investors require high-quality, transparent, and globally comparable sustainability disclosures.
The IFRS Foundation which is developing a single set of high-quality, understandable, enforceable, and globally accepted accounting and sustainability disclosure standards, marks a major step at COP 26, with the establishment of a unified and globally consistent sustainability-related corporate disclosure, the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB). The new Board will have a global and multi-location presence and will develop comprehensive global baseline sustainability reporting standards under robust governance and public oversight. It will provide the global financial markets with high-quality disclosures on climate and other sustainability issues as long-term thinking is increasingly at the heart of business and investor decision-making. The ISSB represents a major step forward in establishing consistent, comparable global reporting standards.
Financial markets need to assess the risks and opportunities facing individual companies which arise from environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, as these affect enterprise value. Investors and other providers of capital want global sustainability disclosure standards that meet their information needs. So far, voluntary reporting frameworks and guidance have prompted innovation and action, but fragmentation has also increased cost and complexity for investors, companies, and regulators.
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