Markets Are Failing Investors on Sustainability: Mother of All Market Regulators

By Mathew Carr

Feb. 25, 2021 — LONDON: The mother of all market regulators says global markets are in a mess on sustainability.

Investors wanting clear disclosure on the climate and natural-environment impact of the bonds and shares they buy are not being well served, the International Organization of Securities Commissions said yesterday.

“Companies often report sustainability-related information selectively, referencing different frameworks,” the organization said in a statement on its website:
https://www.iosco.org/news/pdf/IOSCONEWS594.pdf

IOSCO said there was an “urgent need” for globally consistent, comparable and reliable sustainability disclosure standards.

On the same day, the Division of Corporation Finance of the Securities Exchange Commission was ordered to enhance its focus on climate-related disclosure in public company filings. SEC staffers “will review the extent to which public companies address the topics identified in the 2010 guidance,” said Acting Chair of the SEC Allison Herren Lee.
See this: https://www.sec.gov/news/public-statement/lee-statement-review-climate-related-disclosure

Allison Herren Lee

At the end of 2020 various organisations jointly released a ‘prototype’ climate financial disclosure standard “cobbled together in some haste from existing offerings,” according to this column in Responsible Investor from last month:
https://www.responsible-investor.com/articles/a-prototype-climate-disclosure-standard-with-a-flawed-conceptual-framework

The landscape is acronym city.

“Whilst anyone familiar with Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), integrated reporting and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards is likely to be favourably disposed to the proposed reporting requirements, the conceptual framework underpinning them is flawed,” said Carol Adams, Professor of Accounting at Durham University Business School and technical expert to the UNDP’s Sustainable Development Goal Impact Team..

Instead of simply making polluters pay, regulators are getting caught up in this sort of stuff (I’m not claiming it’s easy — check out of the chart on the last page of this): https://29kjwb3armds2g3gi4lq2sx1-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/Reporting-on-enterprise-value_climate-prototype_Dec20.pdf

Risk of Gap in UN Carbon Markets Persists After Panel Delays Key Decisions

Oct. 6, 2020 — London: The panel overseeing the main United Nations carbon market delayed key decisions that would have overcome a potential gap in the market’s operation at the end of the year.

The Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board considered the implications of the postponement of UN climate talks to November next year because of the coronavirus pandemic, it said in a report detailing the outcome of meetings that took place during the past two weeks in Bonn and virtually.

The panel would further consider at a meeting scheduled through Dec. 14 whether emission credits generated “on or after” Jan. 1 can be approved in the first 10 months of next year, it said.

The market has suffered weak demand for years and now the one-year delay in the global climate talks in Glasgow to November 2021 is causing further complications for the regulators. The impact of the virus means the market may have to halt at least some of its operations. Investors and project developers face rising uncertainty on what will happen to their projects for those months.

The panel did provide some certainty that pre-2021 emission reductions could still be processed.

Audit firms handling requests from emission-reduction projects in the market will continue as “provisionally designated,” until November next year, when further guidance may be provided by the Glasgow talks, it said. Requirements by regulators of the firms “would remain the same.”

“The submission and processing of requests for issuance related to emission reductions or removals achieved before or on 31 December 2020 will continue in accordance with the current CDM requirements.”

See link to meeting report: https://cdm.unfccc.int/filestorage/B/M/A/BMA50YE79VSQIU1GLRWKCJZODNF3P4/CDM_EB107_meeting_report.pdf?t=WUx8cWhyNDQwfDAf-9hPU1s2MPVaVC5pOjM0

See link to earlier story:
https://carrzee.org/looming-deadline-tomorrow-sadly-amounts-to-yet-another-threat-to-global-climate-negotiations/