NYC Climate Week: France pushing for mandatory TCFD reporting and may launch social bonds

Paris announces major conference for December 12 as follow up to COP21.

France will push for the recommendations from the high-level Financial Stability Board-backed Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) to be mandatory, according to Brune Poirson, the country’s Secretary of State attached to the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Solidarity under Minister, Nicolas Hulot.
Poirson, who was speaking during a Q&A session at a Climate Week event in New York organised by HSBC said a mandatory TCFD was “something we want to push”. She said that France was also looking at issuing a social bond and hinted it was thinking about issuing another green sovereign bond, saying in response to a question: “This is what we have at the back of our minds.”
On the social bond, she said: “It’s complex but if it works it’s really great. We have been exploring that.” France, she said, could learn from the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ countries that have already issued social bonds.
Poirson said the French government was working with other countries to expand Article 173 of its energy transition law which requires investors to disclose how they factor ESG criteria and carbon-related aspects into their investment policies, or explain why they cannot.
Asked by Responsible Investor about the outlook for Article 173, whose impact has – in the words of the IFC’s Vikram Widge – “rippled across the world”, Poirson said the government was “trying to build a coalition of countries” to implement it more broadly.Earlier this week, RI reported that a senior French finance official said Article 173 should be adopted at the European Union level to bolster its chances of success.
It’s all part of what she unambiguously stated was France’s ambition to become the world’s green finance capital.
“We think Paris has everything to be the capital of green finance,” she said.
As part of this, she said the French government is organising a major event in Paris on December 12 to celebrate the second anniversary of the Paris Climate accord at which it is hoped that some of the initiatives will be formally announced. She said the aim of the event is to work out how to finance low carbon projects.
Poirson was elected earlier this year as a Deputy to the National Assembly for La France En Marche, the political party of French President Emmanuel Macron. Educated in France, London and the US, part of her career was spent working for Veolia on a drinking water project in India, before she worked in Boston in the US as a researcher on corporate social innovation and responsibility.